Every year I’m in awe of my Begonias. I plant them in the early spring, haphazardly in a hurry, adding a few in my large pot placed strategically on the remnants of the tree trunk in my front yard. I began this ritual shortly after we had to cut down the only tree we had. The stump looked bare and deserted, so I decided that a big pot on top would masquerade the permanent tomb that is stuck in our landscape.
I am not a gardener. In fact, quite the opposite really. I’m all for embracing the beauty of vibrant rich flower beds and glorious vegetable gardens- I’m just not up for all that work to tend to it.
So I plant a few pots and call it a day.
Begonias are the only flower I haven’t killed. I’ve tempted fate with many and watched their life wither right before my eyes.
Just this past Mother’s Day, I was gifted with a beautiful bountiful pot filled with a carefully picked assortment of flowers, made lovingly by my children with their grandma’s help. There was this eerie tension in the air, as my breath tightened at the thought of killing off such an exquisite masterpiece. It’s been slowly dying ever since, no matter how much I try to nourish it along…
So, back to the Begonias.
They thrive on that tree trunk, no matter how many days I forget to water them. The few tiny babies I scarcely plant somehow become a wild raging overgrowth of bloom.
As I was gazing at the glorious bounty late one afternoon, it finally dawned on me just why it grows so easily and what seemed to me, miraculously.
It’s all about the placement.
I know, I know. It’s not an original thought. But apparently there is a fine balance in that spot of shade and sun that promises its potential.
And this got me thinking about my own life, and where I’ve been placed. How many times I was planted in the wrong location, wilting beneath the not just right circumstances. I think about all the areas I felt stifled, stuck and rotting, due to the unforgiving climate I was in.
I wonder how many times I realized it was all about the placement and not about my inability to grow. That, had I been in a different environment, my roots may have taken hold of the soil and soared to greater heights.
I believe I blamed myself. Many times.
I didn’t have the wisdom to discern my surroundings and assess such influential conditions. And as I look back at all the jobs, educational pursuits, church groups, friendship circles, and many other various avenues in which I roamed- unable to truly flourish…
I realize it was all about the placement.
I’m thriving now, as my soil is softened with the perfect balance of sun and shade, ripe with passion and purpose. There have been quite a few other lovely spots I have been able to blossom in throughout my life as well.
When I think of my children navigating through the continuum of discovering who they are and defining what constitutes fertile ground, I want them to understand that sometimes- no often times, it’s not about them but about the placement. Sure, they must be responsible and do their best in any circumstance, but when they are faced with failure or discouraged with difficulty, I want them to take a long look at where they are planted to see if it’s truly a good fit and why. I’ll teach them how to assess those varying conditions and explore their own unique needs.
They have already found some well-suited areas in their life, but struggle in others. And as time unfolds into new seasons offering more opportunities for them to dig their heels into new soil, where they seek to define their passion and potential, I will remind them about this truth when they feel they failed.
Sometimes, It’s not about our inability to grow or thrive or bloom at all…
Many times, it’s simply all about the placement.