“ … didn’t want to come inside,” her text said. Hands finding dirt as she plants the vision she sees with confidence and clarity, she (my mother) is thriving.
I am still trying to line up what I want where with what the sun will give.
Bloom where you’re planted. While the 16th-century bishop of Geneva (and patron saint of authors and journalists) gets the serious side of credit for it, happy illustrator Mary Engelbreit made it lyrical with her artistic whimsy.
As the years trail and carve unwelcome furrows of age I am trying to live this a little more each day. We once spilled our sun/shade cards over an acre of natural area and in beds we brought to life first in lists over the cold winter months and in long sunrise-sunset days at the desk. Today, we don’t own the stream behind us nor control what drinks from and hunts in it or springs to life around it. We barter hard with ourselves for free time around deadlines.
I am trying to bloom where I’m planted in circumstances I can’t control in our world or in our own lives. We’ve immersed ourselves this week to better understand AI and what it means for us at the same time a client continues to take his consulting business to the next level. Every competitive fiber of my being strains to be like him … to anticipate what it will take to keep even a little plot of ground in the next few years for a business that is “100 percent human written.” The world rages. We wane and I can’t thrive anymore in every kind of soil, in deep shade or in the path of a technological tornado.
St. Francis de Sales, the French priest who became bishop of Geneva, is known to have said that God’s will is frequently communicated through the events, circumstances, and relationships in which you find yourself (found here: https://ssjfl.org/musings/blooming-where-we-are-planted). I remember standing tall surveying everything around me in the landscape a decade ago and thinking, the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. (Psalm 16)
Plant hunting with my mother a week ago I mused that we all need work. I feel deep down to my roots that this is true just past the cradle to the grave, and believe no one can define for us what that looks like. A friend once said there are a whole lot of things to do. We thrive when we do the things we do best or uniquely and leave the rest to others who will most assuredly do them better than we can. Metaphorically and in wishful plant speak, if I could control our winters and produce long, cool springs, everything would come up ranunculus.
I loved “The Feather Thief” and learned a lot. I’ve just started Pulitzer Prize-winning “Angela’s Ashes,” the 1996 memoir by Irish-American author Frank McCourt. In the introduction by author/journalist Jeannette Walls, she says of McCourt’s powerful legacy that he gave us “the simple, nine-word lesson … ‘Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale.’” Bloom where you’re planted.