May was an extremely busy month: my daughter and I both graduated, moved from the only house we’ve known for 18 years and my boyfriend and I prepped the old house and got it rented in just two weeks. Not to mention, I had a couple photo jobs sprinkled in the mix, too. I was quite happy to see May leave and I’m hoping June will include some much needed R&R.
Anyway, my surroundings are talking to me again. No. Not like that. I don’t have a burning bush in my back yard and inanimate objects don’t speak to me in a verbal voice. (For the record: if I ever met a ‘Mr. Ed’ in real life, I’d flip out.) I just feel a story behind events, whether big or small. Indian’s had this inate ability to ‘read’ the stars and the wind and the…anyway, I firmly believe that our surroundings speak to us; we just get so busy we write them off and don’t bother to analyze them. Sad actually….
I was given a shiffilera plant at work several years ago. Even then, I knew it needed to be transplanted. Stretched out, it towered at least 6 feet tall yet it’s home wasn’t much more than a mere gallon container. For years it thrived in my office and despite it’s small home, continued growing.
I decided to take it to the new house several weeks ago. There, it was given a new container at least 6x it’s previous size. It looked like an old person, bent and twisted; I carefully secured it’s twisted body to garden rods with garden twine to ensure it could handle outdoor living. Then, I patiently and not-so-faithfully watered and waited.
At first it looked like it wouldn’t make it. All but maybe two leaves fell off and it turned sickly green and yellow. It looked like an oddly large and winding stick someone stuck in some ground. I almost threw it away, but fortunately, laziness prevailed. I continued to include it in my periodic watering ritual.
Many weeks later, I noticed that it had freed itself from the twine. I thought maybe I just did a poor job tying it and that the wind had broken my poor excuse of a knot, but it literally busted free and was standing more erect. ‘Interesting’, I thought. And just yesterday, I saw new life, springs of new leaves, shooting out about every inch or so, from the base all the way to the very top. I think she’s gonna make it! And ultimately be more beautiful and lush than it ever was in my little office.
So, what’s the hidden story, you ask? Well, we go through changes like this, too. We are transplanted into new surroundings: a new job, a new baby, a new relationship or maybe no relationship at all. We find ourselves in unfamiliar territory and maybe our leaves wither as well. Maybe the change reveals things about ourselves that we did not really want to see or admit to. But that’s what the change is about: growth. We sometimes have to shed old leaves in order for new leaves to emerge. Often we don’t get exactly what we thought we wanted, but I assure you, we get exactly what we need once we accept and embrace the experience. Before we know it, we are growing stronger than ever before and we are better as a result.
Life is full of change and if we don’t learn to adapt, we only hurt ourselves. You are not alone, so don’t use that as an excuse. Whether you believe or not, God is right there with you. There is no remedy in blaming our surroundings or ourselves. We have to stop shuffling around the same mountain, complaining about this or that. Complacency is not an option. In doing so, we inhibit our own growth and for that, we can be our own worst enemy. We are only here for a moment. Don’t look back in regret. We are where we are for a reason; whether to be still, to move on or to learn more about ourselves. It is just another chapter of life. While good times don’t seem to last, neither do the bad. But we must have them both to complete the cycle. And sometimes, if you truly look back, the bad times weren’t really as bad as they seemed at the time. There is a purpose.
So, the message is: make the most of your surroundings because where you are is where you are meant to be. Don’t fight change; embrace it. Before you know it, you’ll realize new growth, new breath and a new appreciation for your new surroundings.