Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I REALLY debated if I wanted to post this or not and decided yes, I should share...

This isn't a particularly funny or entertaining post today. Nor is it photo laden as are many of blog entries I post. However, I would like think this is worth the read.

The hubbs and I have been working around the ol' homestead, trying to clean up and get rid of stuff. So much stuff.  You know how it goes...things that you set aside, with the promise that you will take care of it tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. Then pretty soon you stop seeing all the stuff and clutter. Or you just stop caring because your attention and energy are focused elsewhere.

Behind our garage I have a very old, rusty dump cart. It has a tire that goes flat all the time but once the tire is inflated it can still be hooked up to the riding mower to haul stuff. Except it has been back there for about 2 years. Unused, aging and piled up with all sorts of stuff. Old willow branches, plastic flower pots, busted solar lights, extra tomato cages, and  some old plants which were meant to be composted.

In the midst of finally clearing out what really should be considered a garbage pile, I came across a very tattered package. It was sun faded, ragged, and disintegrating due being exposed to the elements. I was able to make out just enough from the faded image this had been the sleeve to a blackberry plant. Much to my surprise, beneath the debris was the little plastic bag that had contained the bare root blackberry, and it was... alive. 

The bag had split so moisture had been able to seep in, it had been insulated from the harshest of the weather by all the junk piled on top, but was still able have some slivers of sunlight. Against all odds, this organic, living plant had survived. I wish I had a photo when I first pulled it out, it had only 1 set of straggly leaves. Rather wilted and  looking almost ready to give up.  I was able to intervene and save it...although technically it was my fault it was in the "junk" pile. When it been placed there I really thought it was non viable.

This really gave me pause. The cart and the plant. They are metaphors for the human condition. How often do we clutter our lives, our minds our emotions by hanging on to what is essentially junk? Suppressing the feelings, emotions, ideas or projects which need to be nurtured?  You like the cart, carry this burden. If you are lucky, occasionally you have something that pumps you up and gets you going again when feel overwhelmed. You like the plant held onto hope. Grasping and clawing to survive, just to get through to the next moment. Until you couldn't. And just when you are ready to give up, your burden is eased. Either through external influence or the casting off your internal baggage.

As you can see this plant-as shown in the photo above-now thrives. A change in perspective if you will. Now firmly rooted, the plant is safe and secure. The tendrils of growth reach for the warmth of the sun and more growth has appeared as the plant is now longer confined to the plastic bag.

This story, no story isn't quite right. Story implies a entertainment or whimsical fable. This is a truth. This no longer about the human condition in general non-descript terms. This is me and my truth. Oh the plant and it's conditions were quite true. This is me.

You see... for the last 17 years, living in this house, I was never quite emotionally invested. This house was NEVER meant to be the forever house. We moved here during a very tumultuous time in our (my life) lives. I have carried so many burdens, moving through life with stoic responsibility. I was always hoping, wishing, wanting different and better.

During the time in this house there has been major chronic illness, job loss, death, and despair. There have also been moments of joy and celebration but I was often fixated tomorrow. Or as soon as I fix this..or change that...or when it is perfect I will...or SOMEDAY I am gonna...What if...

Next thing I know, it is 17 years later. I am 50 years old and I have buried myself under a pile of unrealistic expectations. I made myself a prisoner of unhappiness. I didn't allow myself to grow as I was too busy searching for happiness and fulfillment to realize that which I sought was always within my grasp.

You see, even though I live in My Cozy Little Farmhouse, very few--if any one--external to my family comes to my home. There are many reasons I could offer. I like solitude, peace and quiet. My home is my dojo--my sanctuary. But when you peel back all the layers, the core truth is insecurity. I am insecure.

The house isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. There is a litany list of unfinished projects. I am an unfinished project. To invite someone in is have my serenity interrupted. I will be vulnerable. The thought of my house being scrutinized sends my anxiety skyrocketing. I will be judged.  I'll tell you this... being a neurotic control freak can be quite lonely at times. 

I met with a very dear friend for lunch recently. She was kind enough to loan me some books (the top 4 are loans, the Encyclopedia was her gift to me, the pressure cooker books are library loans and the last 3 garden books are mine) from her glorious personal library. 

We have known each other for at least 8 years. And she has not, in all that time, been to my house. I have been to her house a few times. I have other friends whom I have known even longer and it is the same situation. I have been to their homes, but they have not been to mine. Or the select few that have been here, it has been only once, many years ago.

So during the lunch conversation, my friend and I discussed opening myself up to happiness.  Much like my tenacious little blackberry plant, I can be a bit prickly. For the blackberry plant, beyond the thorns and layers of foliage, with time and nurturing is a reward. Fortunately for me I have a few wonderful and caring people in my life who have decided to look beyond my thorns. And the reward is I am blessed with their friendship.

This blog is easy. The friendships...and I REALLY do consider these friendships are distant. You don't really see the chaos and imperfection, because after all it is selective editing and presentation.  Up close and personal interaction...well that is a bit more difficult.

 However, I am no longer just hoping and wishing for perfection. I am going to reach for my happiness which has been here all along. I am going to bask in the warm sun of every new day,  make the most of where and how I live. I have cast off my junk pile of burdens and break out of my self imposed prison. It may take some time for me to acclimate to this new life. Because much like my spunky little blackberry plant, I too will thrive.

You see, I finally made the decision to bloom where I am planted.

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