Our silkworms are spinning their cocoons, readying to make the great leap from two inch caterpillar to delicate white moth.

It’s at this point the ancients (and probably the moderns still) boiled the cocooned grub, killing it, while harvesting the incredibly fine silk threads. Those threads then travelled the world along the famed Silk Road.

Weaving silken cloth from the cocoons of mulberry leaf munching caterpillars, started me thinking about the raw materials and effort involved in the making of everyday items around us. The ingenuity of humans, figuring out over millenia how to produce such a vast array of ‘things’ from often surprising and simple ingredients. There’s so much we take for granted.

Sometimes I wrestle with the ‘thingness’ of my work in leadership and culture development. Working with intangibles, with human interiors, means there’s little solid matter to point to and say, “I made that”. Instead, the output looks like better quality relationships; new awareness and ideas; clarity and confidence; and influence on the performance and happiness of those engaged.

With interior work, I know the real measures can only be subjective and indirect.

We will not boil our cocooned silkworms. Each moth will chew an escape hole, forever ruining the thread, find a mate, lay eggs and die all within one week. Those eggs will lie dormant in a shoebox under my sons bed until Spring arrives again.

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