Change or Move!

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ~ Martin Luther King

“Is this dead?” my husband asked me while we were weeding the rose beds. He wanted to yank it out of the ground and into the compost pile.

“Be patient with her, she’s in shock, change can do that,” I answered.

We were talking about one of my favorite roses. There were no flowers or leaves on her, she was brown and dried up looking.

I had transplanted the little rose, and she wasn’t yet adjusted to her new spot. Some plants don’t like change and some plants thrive in change. People can be like that too. I’ve met people who want the same situations day in and day out. They flourish in routine and predictable situations. Then there are others who would simply shrivel up and die in the same scenario. These are the perennials of my garden. I can count on them coming up consistently every year. They may not be the showiest flowers in the garden, but they are the dependable ones.

People who embrace change find tedious repetitive conditions stifling, stunting, restrictive and unbearable. They blossom in trials, experiments, and unpredictable situations. In fact, they become restless if they’re not challenged. These people are more like my annuals that adorn the garden. I love being able to change the color combination every summer. These plants are vibrant, and come in brilliant shades. They inspire and impress visitors to the garden, but come the first frost, they’ll be gone. Once they’ve served their purpose, they’ll make way for other flora next summer.

Who’s to say which is right? Both are in my opinion. The garden/world needs both. One of the sad things we do with people is to attempt to force them to be something they’re not. And sadder still is the person who fails to see their own beauty and unique personality. As parents or mentors we need to allow individuals to bloom their way. We need to purposefully study a person/plant closely, so we’ll know if they’re blossoming or not. If the person/plant is being successful, then we need to take note of it, repeat it, rather than force it to grow any other way.  Likewise as a person, we need to stop looking at rules and expectations that box who we are. Shame on us for being less than we’re designed to be. What if we grew to be all we can be? What would the garden of our lives look like? That’s a garden I’d love to see!

This rose in particular blooms off dead growth. Thank goodness. If you look very close at her, there are tiny buds that are about to sprout new life. I’ve learned to be brave enough to move a plant that’s not doing well, and to leave alone the ones that are. But I’ve also learned that when one plant looks dead to continue to water and fertilize it and trust that in time they will prosper. And in fact a month after our original discussion whether to pull her out or leave her alone, she is now blooming.

You can find this inspirational story and more like it in Pam’s book Lessons From the Garden: The Real Dirt on Being Happy!