Friday, May 2, 2008

Bloom Where You Are Planted

The sun was on its way down when I took these photos, but hopefully they are bright enough for our purposes.

Here is the view to the left of the church where I serve, heading up our urban street. The trees on the right are "our trees," Bradford Pear trees (non-fruit bearing??) that, according to the senior minister, were purchased in 1986 by some members of the congregation in a cooperative effort with the city to beautify the street.
When they arrived, she said, the saplings were so scrawny and spindly that she was sure they wouldn't survive the winter. Indeed, they did survive, and the tallest is now about 40 feet tall. As you can see above, they nearly touch the trees across the street, next to the Methodist church.

This is the view through the trees, looking up at our steeple. Beautiful. These trees are amazing. They make me think of a type of tree I remember from back in Colorado that has tons of compact balls of small white flowers. They look like snowballs.
In the tree out by my new church, however, the flowers are in smaller, much less compact bunches, and there are these sweet little green leaves that stick out at the ends of each bunch, adding a perfectly-placed accent of color.

I am a city girl. I've always preferred the urban life to the suburban, and certainly to country living. Even if I loved the country, I know I could not survive there. I am not only missing a green thumb, but most everything I try to grow experiences a quick demise in my hands.

Nonetheless, I have a deep appreciation for green, living, growing things, and for mother earth, our home. Just because I need a reminder every year about things as simple as the difference between an annual and a perennial does not mean that I have never sat on the side of a mountain in awe at the smallness of me and the vastness of the ground upon which I sat.

Indeed, some of my most profound spiritual experiences have been on a silent mountainside and/or deep in a tall forest.

One of the things I miss most about Washington State is the green. In Western Washington, we had two notable seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season was our shorter season, lasting a few months each year. It was a short enough season that many folks did not water their lawns, and there would be rows of houses surrounded by brown.
But the whole rest of the year, the earth was green from the heavy, lush ground cover, all the way up the large moss-covered tree trunks, until the green of the leaves on the trees met the sky. I am sure you can understand, from the below photo, why I miss it so dearly.

The above photo from Washington State is not my own (it came from But it is the dominant scene of the area, and a similar picture could have just as easily been taken at a park near our old home. I do miss that. And the rain.

The church I previously served was on the edge of the city, a terribly tucked away location I felt, yet each day when I came into work, I would look behind the church into the small forested area against which it was set, and I felt a sense of peace and calm that I am having trouble finding here.

However, I keep getting the feeling that the more I connect with the earth here in New England, the more grounded I will feel on this land, and the more connected I will feel to this place and its people. The more I connect with the ground upon which I now stand, the better able I will be to bloom where I am planted. And blooming where one is planted is critical for happiness.

So I have been taking walks and admiring all the beautiful flowering plants. (And I am looking forward to our beach time this summer.)

(I think the above one is called forsythia. My photo, taken at night, does not do it justice at all whatsoever.)


sf said...

Pretty flowers. You are a funny kid.
(forsythia is a perennial)

Masasa said...

Thank you for the subtle corrections in spelling :-). In my defense, I had both kids literally CLIMBING on me and trying to push the buttons on the keyboard as I wrote that. Not really a time for thinking clearly.