I love playing Wordle.
When I guessed PLANT on my second try, I was elated.
I had so many things on my “to-do” list but I decided to set the list aside and headed to the local nursery to look for colorful plants instead. I looked forward to spending time in the warm sunshine, digging in the dirt, and creating something worthy of spring, after all, PLANT was the wordle of the day!
When I got to the parking lot I realized others had the same idea.
As I walked up and down the aisles filled with little sprigs of color, I noticed that the clearance rack was full of the assorted pansies I was hoping to get I picked out four six-packs, then added two hanging baskets and a garden trowel to my cart.
I didn’t really have a plan, just the desire to plant something that would survive the summer and my ‘not-so-green’ thumb.
Last year was our first summer here in TN. Our move from Southern CA had been a huge transition, and occasionally I found myself wondering why we decided to make the cross country move to the land flowing with sweet tea and biscuits.
It is hard to know what to say when asked if I am adjusting.
It wasn’t just the move from my home state, it was moving away from several of our kids and grandkids. The youngest of our six kids was the only one still in the nest. Since he was turning 21 and didn’t want to leave the CA, he decided to not make the move with us.
It was the first time in over 34 years to not have kiddos in our home. That was the bigger adjustment for me, it just happened at the exact time we moved. I wondered if the best years of my life had already been lived. The nest was not only empty, it echoed.
As trite as the sentiment is to “Bloom where you are planted”, it actually holds a lot of truth. The need to be PLANTed was becoming more evident.
But, moving when you are older isn’t always easy. You have your favorite stores, produce markets, gatherings. Even the roads you take to see the people you love become so familiar you can almost set your car on cruise control. It is easy to feel comfortable, even when the container becomes a bit cramped.
After I arrived home with my flat of flora, I changed into my overalls, grabbed the garden trowel, and carefully began pulling each little plant from the packaging.
The plants looked great, some had even begun to flower. But the roots!
A swirl of white threads coiled around the inside of each cell in the small container. I needed to do more than just dig a hole and put the flowers in.
They were root-bound, which means the roots had grown around themselves in a circular pattern as if they had been in a tiny whirlpool. The plants were not going to thrive and chances are they might have not survived the season if I hadn’t broken the roots in half from top to bottom, carefully releasing the established pattern so the roots could grow down and out.
Each plant needed that extra step of care in order to produce what it was capable of.
I sat on the grass, looking at one of the purple pansies in my hand.
I was just like that little plant.
Moved from one place to another.
But, more than that, I was root-bound.
I needed to trust the hands of the Master Gardener to break the familiar patterns that kept me from growing roots deep and wide. I needed to be willing to leave the container I had been accustomed to and allow fresh soil to provide the nutrients I needed to grow.
What about you? Have you started planting flowers?
Have you felt root-bound from time to time?
Maybe it is time to break free, start fresh, and not just bloom, but really flourish, where you are planted.
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.