Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Benefits of Blooming in the Weed Patch

I've heard the saying "Bloom where you're planted" my entire life.
What does that mean?
Why are some people planted in lush gardens and others in barren deserts; while still others are in rocky outcroppings or in climates that only allow blooms to happen for short amount of time?  Why are some blooms spectacular and others more simple and understated?

I love flowers.  I have since I was a child.  We lived in a modest home in a very poor area of town.  Directly behind our home was a large hill.  Every spring and summer the hillside was filled with wildflowers.  I grew up appreciating these simple, yet beautiful blooms.

I also had a paper route as a child, and part of my route was to businesses in our small downtown area.  One of my customers was the local flower shop.  I loved to admire the magnificent flowers that I saw there, but somehow I instinctively knew that these were not "my"  type of flowers.  My type of flowers were to be the simple wildflowers.

I say instinctively, but in reality it had nothing to do with instinct at all.  My parents and family were wonderful, but my home was BELOW the hill.  The fancy homes were ON the hill.  Roses bloomed on the hill while weeds grew below.
From my earliest memories,  other people made very clear that I was not blooming in the right garden.  I was a weed and not a rose.  I had no business trying to associate at school, at work, (at church even) with the beautiful roses and lilies and other "fine" flowers.  I needed to stay in the weed patch.  I needed to know my place.

Well, the problem was that I was a very outspoken weed.  I actually had the nerve to think of myself as beautiful and worthwhile.  I actually though that my simple blooms could add something to the roses and lilies and together we could be spectacular.

Eventually, I was "transplanted" OUT of the weed patch.  During college and a subsequent move to a different city, I was able to start fresh without anyone knowing where I came from.  Now, I didn't quite make it to the premier rose garden, but at least it was a garden with a large variety of different blooms, each with their own unique colors and sizes and fragrance.  I was able to mingle with roses and daisies alike.

 Every so often, a "designer" rose would grace us with their presence in the garden. This rose was bred for greatness and they knew it, and we had better know it too.  These were miserable times in the garden for everyone.

But more often, the roses that grew in this garden were thornless roses who saw the beauty in themselves AND in others and often preferred the company of weeds and common wildflowers to the company of the designer roses.  I came to love these roses as much as the wildflowers and weeds.

So, what have I learned from my days in different gardens?

  • Every flower is beautiful, even the weeds.
  • It is possible ... and even beautiful ... for a variety of flowers to bloom in the same location.  Each adding its own unique contribution to the garden.
  • Some roses are only pretty on the outside.  Their insides are full of thorns.
  • Not all roses have thorns.  Many are quite lovely.
  • The smallest, most fragile, almost shy blossoms are my favorite.
  • I've come to know amazing people who will never be welcome in the rose garden.  Beautiful, kind, intelligent, thoughtful, worthwhile people who have been treated like weeds their entire lives. It's ok to be a weed.   

I still love the weeds and see their value.  I love the daisies (yes, a weed), the baby's breath, the forget me nots, the yarrow, the cornflowers (bachelor buttons), and the purple loosestrife.  Some of these I've even planted in my garden ON PURPOSE ... imagine that.  

So please ... Bloom Where You Are Planted, even if you are told you are a weed ... not because you can't or shouldn't bloom anywhere else, but because you are beautiful and your bloom is essential and valued and needed in this world.

The Benefits of Blooming in the Weed Patch

I've heard the saying "Bloom where you're planted" my entire life. What does that mean? Why are some people pla...