lessons from my garden (or I am ready for new soil)


peace lily with two large blooms

I am mending my plant serial killer ways. A couple of weekends ago, I realized I’ve had two peace lilies for five years. One of them was an office-warming present from Client Number One when I left the Big Firm.

Once I got past the amazement of keeping anything alive for five years, I realized the peace lilies were looking crowded and root-bound in their pots. I spent a peaceful, joyful afternoon with Eliza, my favorite five-year old friend, carefully removing the plants from their pots. Gleefully dumping five-year old potting soil and spreading it around the backyard. (Every adult I know could use a lesson in gleeful from any available five year old!)

There’s something inherently satisfying about digging into a fresh bag of potting soil. Maybe it’s my farmer grandfather’s spirit hovering nearby. Or maybe just the memory of wandering around his basement with its rows of African violets and blue lights.

Eliza and I played in the dirt like five-year olds. Which one of us actually is. Transferring potting soil from bag to pot. Carefully separating the contents of each pot. Setting each half in its own pot. Filling in soil around listless roots. Giving each half a new home, old roots surrounded by new, nutrient-rich soil. Watering each plant to ease the transition to its new home.

I grew up a Navy brat. We moved a lot. Eleven schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. My roots were frequently pulled up and planted somewhere new. The sole consistency in each new home was my parents and my siblings.

Live Oak trees draping over dirt road

When Sweetness was a baby, we made a choice to settle somewhere our children could have roots. Roots that are as deep as the live oak trees that surround us here in the beautiful Low Country we chose as home. Eighteen years later, I know I made the right decision. Sweetness and The Genius have roots that are deep and sturdy. They have a support system that goes far beyond their immediate family.

live oak tree

Sometimes people need to be transplanted, too. Life in the old pot gets too crowded. Our soil is leached of nutrients. Our roots are bound because we’ve run out of room to grow.

When Sweetness graduated last year, she moved to Charleston. Two hours away is far enough to count as being transplanted. There’s an indescribable satisfaction watching your child flourish. New soil. A little watering from mama and daddy. She’s blooming as sweetly as ever. Roots firmly planted. And the sure knowledge that there will always be roots she can come home to.

After eighteen years in one place, my roots are starting to feel a little root-bound. I love the life I made here. But the wandering feet I grew up with are getting antsy. Usually, a yearly trip to a new locale pacifies my wandering ways. Sadly, my work schedule isn’t allowing more than a three-day weekend here and there.

Maybe it isn’t my location, but my job that needs to change. Or the men I’m dating. Or the hobbies I’m choosing.

beautiful peace lily bloom

I am ready for a change. Ready to be transplanted. Ready for new soil, fresh out of the bag, teeming with nutrients. Ready to be watered so I can bloom, bigger and brighter than ever.

Question: Have you ever been transplanted? How did it turn out for you?

Tell me what you think! I can't wait to hear from you. :)

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