This little phrase has been around for so long sometimes it loses impact. Credited first to be used by The Bishop of Geneva, St Francis deSales in the 1500’s, more currently by Mary Engelbreit.
What does it actually mean to bloom where you are planted?
- Does it mean to be your best self no matter what circumstances?
- What ever life throws at you, shine your light through?
- To push through when life gets hard, dig deep, create roots and flower anyways?
- Don’t complain and be a blessing to others?
- Make the best with what you have been given?
“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.”
I’m the first to look on the bright side of a situation, or to create value and a growth/teaching moment from a trial. The weight of life is too heavy if one doesn’t live in gratitude and make the best of circumstances. However is it always an attainable reality to Bloom Where you are planted?
We are landscapers by trade and plant every kind of tree and shrub. We also plant perennials, lay sod and in most cases create dream yards for our clients.
But…….. there are limitations to what can and will grow in any given environment. We live in the North and on a good day we are zone 3 perhaps 4 for growing. What that means is the winters are long, cold and dark and temperatures can drop to -34 degrees to -40 degrees C. We would never ever be able to grow a palm tree or citrus grove. No Not ever.
At the start of any job we have a look at the site and define what type of soil is in place. Often in our area the soil is a clay which is heavy, holds moisture and can inhibit growth and drown the plant. Just yesterday we replaced three cedar trees that are hardy for our area, but were over watered and died in the bog. Obviously not a good climate for them to thrive. It was impossible for them to bloom where they were planted.
Looking from this perspective, how is it possible to bloom or even grow for that matter in an impossible situation?
This is where I turn and look at the soil, as the one that decides what gets planted and what type of soil it goes into , it is my job to create the best situation for the plant to grow in. Often it means digging out the clay and replacing with a nice garden mix of soil, rich in nutrients. We also put some root boost into the hole, anything and every thing to give the plant the very best possible chance of success. In short, we amend the soil, adding nutrients and removing inhibitors.
Now the plant needs water, sun and warmth to set roots and establish.
Is it possible to grow in less than ideal soil? Yes of course, it can and does happen.
This plant bears witness to that theory. This tenacious little plant is in hard dry clay, weeds around it and yet it is blooming away.
This little beauty is the exception not the rule on how plants thrive. Id venture to say this is true of people as well.
The question to be asked is, What type of soil are you planted in? Is it hard and full of weeds that inhibit growth? In people terms this would be self doubt, insecurities, fear, anxiety or a variety of other growth killers. Are you feet stuck down in a bog of anxiety, worry and fears? Is your soil depleted without any way to nourish your soul? Or are you drowning in a state of overwhelmed? How can your roots possibly grow down deep and establish well?
Yes we can often bloom and make do with the place and situation that we find ourselves in. However I don’t believe we are victim to stay there. I have seen sites that were incapable of growing anything change into a thriving garden full of produce teeming with life. How does the change happen?
Alot of what happens with people and gardens alike is what happens inside, or under ground. Micro organisms that loosen the soil, leaving nourishment in their path. Ive also seen people who decide to make new choices that build up the “soil” they grow in. Draining off negative thoughts and actions that deplete is a great way to start. Remove toxic and noxious people is also essential for peace and joy to develop and grow. Taking out the weeds that entangle our tenders roots that desire to grow, giving ourselves a better chance to thrive.
Taking out weeds is one part, amending the soil by adding back in nutrients is also important. Developing habits and practices that build into us is essential for growth. This would look different for everyone but could be something like exercise, reading a good book, eating well, spiritual practices, socializing and general good health and wellness habits.
The summary is to:
- Amend the soil
- Remove weeds
- Drain off excess water
Im not wanting to simplify the process here as I understand the challenge to grow and make changes is often hard tedious work. To identify the negative toxic weeds alone can exhaust one. However I do challenge you to take baby steps into a life of freedom from all the anxiety that hard soil creates. One step and one day at a time and soon when you look down and the bog will be off your feet and out of your soul. You will be living free.
Life happens and habits die hard yet you will have established a system where you will be able to identify the weeds and remove them.
Amend the soil with healthy choices and drain off the overflow of water that bogs you down and makes you feel like you are drowning.
You will be able to Simply live, in unforced rhythms of Grace. At the end of the day, we only have one life to live, I want to live it well. Sounds like a chance worth taking, to do the work to get the result.