“So a plant’s birth begins with its burial.” – Alicia Britt Chole
When I was between jobs, transitioning into a new chapter of my life, I read this quote by Alicia Britt Chole. It’s one that sticks with me and one I constantly revisit when feeling frustrated. In fact, I love the message of the entire passage:
“Or consider the growth of a plant. Before a gardener can enjoy a plant’s fruit, she must tenderly and strategically attend to its root. So a plant’s birth begins with its burial. The gardener commits a generally unremarkable seed to the silence of the soil, where it sits in stillness and lightlessness, hidden by the smothering dirt. Just when it appears as though death is imminent, its seeming decay reveals new life. The seed becomes less and yet more of its former self, and in that transformation takes hold of the darkness and reaches for the sun. All that is to come rests greatly upon the plant’s ability to tightly and sightlessly develop roots in unseen places.”
We look at the trees and flowers around us as sources of inspiration. They are symbols of beauty, power, and fragility. We celebrate the attributes we can see, forgetting the years they spent hidden in the ground, growing their roots. The bigger the tree, the brighter the flowers, the deeper the roots. The longer the seedling remained buried before they emerged, the greater the beauty and power of their blooms.
It’s those years spent hidden in the ground that allows the seed to grow into it’s full potential. The lesson I carry with me is this:
“If you truly want to bloom, bloom in a way that is long lasting, bloom in a way that brings deep rooted beauty to the world, you must spend years hidden, building your roots. The deeper the roots, the more confidant you will be in your ability to fully bloom and make a difference. So embrace the hidden years and the trials that come. You’re building deep roots. And when your time to bloom comes, you truly will be a powerful force of beauty and change.”
So embrace the moments of personal growth; the years spent buried grown roots. They might be difficult to endure and impossible to understand, but the beauty and transformation coming will be worth it.