Bloom Where You’re Planted (or not)

I read somewhere that St. Francis de Sales originated the phrase, “bloom where you’re planted.” I suppose it doesn’t really matter who said it; the idea that one should take advantage of the opportunities one has in life and be grateful for one’s current situation is one of those truisms that seem irrefutable. Yet, when one’s situation is less than ideal, one may struggle with this notion. I, myself, prefer the concept of spontaneous blooming, like weeds and wildflowers. Nobody plants weeds; yet, some, like dandelions, are quite lovely not to mention being a good source of nectar for bees. A lawn full of dandelions is a bee’s delight.

Remember “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”? Francie’s tree in view of her fire escape refuge thrives in cement despite abuse which includes being chopped down and set afire! So, being “planted” is not the be-all. Maybe how you get where you are is more by chance than by planning (planting?). What makes that Brooklyn tree thrive while the carefully cultivated fir the Nolan family plants does not?

In an article about Central Park in today’s NY Times, the author talks about the wildflowers, and says, “A wildflower can refer to any flowering plant that was not cultivated, intentionally planted or given human aid, yet it still managed to grow and bloom.” There’s something in that spontaneity that appeals to me. I like gardens; I like cultivating my flower beds, but I admit to letting flowering weeds go their way too.

We used to have a cabin in North Central Pennsylvania before the scourge of fracking made the place all but uninhabitable. For years I threw wildflower seeds onto the last melting snow and was rewarded by a spring bounty of colorful blooms. They lasted one spring only, but oh the delight they provided.

I guess what I’m getting at is that everything in life is ephemeral. That’s what makes some moments and some plants special to us. We know for certain that change is inevitable. “Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.” (and weeds)

9 thoughts on “Bloom Where You’re Planted (or not)

  1. A weed to one is a flower to another. It is all about perspective. Some plants, like people, thrive where they are planted. Others wither and need to be moved. Although I like a planned garden I often throw out seeds and am amazed by what takes hold and grows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the serendipity of it. Right? Here’s this bit of beauty out of nowhere whose only purpose is to be. Now I have an idea for tomorrow’s slice. Thanks, Clare.


  2. This line -!! “I guess what I’m getting at is that everything in life is ephemeral” – what a reminder to savor things, people, moments while we can. Love that image of seeds thrown onto the last melting snow and the reward of riotous color. What a metaphor that could be, on so many levels …beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In a lot of ways, I think we have all spent the last year trying to grow where we are planted or make the best of a difficult situation. Though the seasons change, we each find our way. Your post is a beautiful reminder of possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

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