Metaphorical uprooting 

This entry has been sitting in my drafts folder for awhile now. I’m hoping to clear out my drafts folder by either posting or deleting those entries. I figure sometimes complete posts stay in my drafts folder because of some hesitation or something – and while some of them might be or feel a little outdated to my present circumstances, I want to honor them as part of my process. This one is from last year. 

The garden is central to the place I once called home, and provides seasonal vegetables and herbs to the women in the house. Garden work days allow community members to spend a morning outdoors, socialize, and give back. The garden is also a metaphor and guiding aspect of the recovery program: nurturing the plants helps the women learn to nurture themselves. They learn how to create their own sustenance on all levels as they transform their lives.

I take the metaphor to myself, as if I were a plant that once grew so steadily and eagerly in that environment:

Sometimes, a plant that has seemed to thrive wilts for an unknown reason. And although you feed her the same words and water as before, she no longer grows. Her leaves dry; she is giving up.

It might take repotting or new soil to revive her. She may need to find another garden. Do not try to make her bloom. If she is not thriving, the environment could be a factor.

Do not ask her to adapt. She has grown in this soil despite major challenges and odds, and now those odds have changed. Other seeds and plants may continue to grow and flourish in this garden, but she is not them.

Respect the plant’s inclination and decision to grow with or without you.

Away from that garden, she is thriving now.

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