Sunday, November 25, 2007
we all began the same way. tiny seeds in sturdy pots, with just the right mixture of soil and water. some pots were larger than others depending on the expectations of the nursery attendants.all of the pots reflected the seed within, a window into what kind of plant they may become. some grew wildly, breaking out of their pots and demanding rich, boundless soil. others lifted their limbs slowly towards the sky, eventually requiring a more ample space. but some of us grew into our pots, wrapping our thin fingers into the crevices of stone and wood, clinging to that which we knew. rather than commit to this or that orchard, we preferred to maintain our pots. we compared pots and boasted our pots and even scoffed at those planted firmly in their orchards. we were "progressive". mobile and clearly a cut above those other trees that chose to be rooted. i liked my mobility, my self-contained soil that allowed me to be in control of what i took in.
but then came the thirst. the wilt in my leaves and the weakness of my branches betrayed my foolishness, my cowardice in clinging to my pot. those strong and graceful oaks planted side by side rose majestically above my feeble attempts to blend in and "offer" something to whichever orchard i happened to be at. i begged the gardener to finally pull me out of my pot, to plant me alongside these other trees. so he did....but my roots were so compacted, making my transition excruciatingly painful. he did not allow me to stay in one orchard for very long....long enough to stimulate growth and loosen up my roots, but never long enough to dig in deep and intertwine with the roots of my fellow trees. i began to get restless as my roots spread out and dug into the earth. i knew what i needed...definitely not this continual uprooting. i mourned the loss of each new orchard i had to leave, and my whole being ached to be planted, firmly, finally. this most recent move has been the worst of all. i found him hovering me over the open earth, my roots pressing towards the ground but unable to secure themselves into anything. i loved this orchard and became convinced that this would be a resting place for once, a place to be still and soak up the sunshine, strengthen up these branches. yet i knew the gardener was already planning my next move. even still, i found myself hoping that this orchard would be it. i see him walk by me everyday, sitting with me and nourishing me. but i am frantic to grow, to be established. i tell him this, each time he passes. i writhe into the dirt and try to find another's root system to intertwine with, anything to show him i can do it here. i can make it.
today he said to me, be still. stop trying to be what you are not. you are not the gardener. you are not able to grow your roots or your branches or your own blossoms. yes, this orchard is lovely and good. and for this time, it is what you need to prepare for this next transplant. but it is not the place to be rooted just yet. trust me. i have tended you before you pushed your green stem through the soil. believe me. i know what you need. i know how you grow and what type of tree you are to become. wait for me. don't stop living, don't stop being the beautiful maple i created....but trust me to set your ground. you are going to foreign soil..a hard and rocky soil. but i am the creator of all living and growing things. and i will not allow you to perish. this season of transplanting i have taken you into, the many orchards we have entered and left since you gave up your pot, have all been preparing you for this upcoming place. it is barren and not many grow. but you, my dear one, you will be planted there. and i will be your caretaker, your faithful provider. you will grow and you will provide a place for the impoverished to rest their head in your shade and food for the empty bellies of strangers. you will fertilize and till the ground with your roots and your fruit. you will draw in things that are needed to cause a renewal in that place. and all of this you will do when your roots are placed down by me, trusting me to fulfill your needs. trust me.
so with my roots exposed, some cracking from weariness and thirst, i will wait. i will not fear the vulnerability of this season, the potential for damage to my precious roots, nor will i covet the rich soil i see so many rooted into right now. i know my gardener and i know that he is good. i will wait for him.