Before the grounds-keeping work of the day commenced, our industry group gathered for a brief dedication ceremony on site. It set the tone for the day, with presentation of our national colors, a somber prayer and remarks by Arlington National Cemetery’s Deputy Superintendent of Operations, two leading industry professionals and a U.S. Senator. As the words flowed, two were used that especially resonated with me: “Meaningful Adjacencies”. The speaker referred to how and where names of victims of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York are inscribed at the Memorial, reflecting where victims were, their affiliations (e.g., companies or groups attending a conference together), and their personal relationships.
I was struck by how powerful Meaningful Adjacencies are, giving perspective to life for the living based upon the relationships of those who have gone before us. There we were, nearly 500 souls affiliated through our industry trade association, but driven to serve by something much deeper than that. We were in that place and time together and used it to rekindle old relationships, while building new ones working together to beautify and honor our nation’s shrine to freedom and service before self.
As I joined my crew and began the assigned landscape work of the day, my thoughts shifted to the 400,000 plus people who have been laid to rest on this nearly 700 acre site. There were countless Meaningful Adjacencies through affiliations of families, conflicts, branches of service and timing of events; there are those Known and Unknown. We honor them all in the common cause of what Arlington National Cemetery represents: Freedom and the high cost of securing it for us and future generations.
Closer to home, we all have Meaningful Adjacencies that give us purpose in our work and the activities of daily living. If you're taking the time to read my “cultivation(s)” blog, I'm honored to share Meaningful Adjacencies with you. The hard and hot work at Arlington also reminded me in a most personal way of the Meaningful Adjacencies of our landscape professionals who toil daily in the elements to create premier properties and build lasting relationships. It is honorable work that benefits the lives of others in a most visible way!
What are your Meaningful Adjacencies and how will you acknowledge, develop and value those relationships? Enjoy the Journey!