Planting our Roots . . .

“Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” ~ Victor Hugo

For graduation this year, I used my own photos and some of the quotes and thoughts I shared in my “Seeds in the Wind …” post I wrote last Fall. Reading through my words and rewriting them for the cards I gave my students this year made me dig a little deeper into this concept of planting ourselves in the world, growing strong roots and using our abilities to make it a great place to live and prosper.

“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” ~ Christopher Reeve

A tree or plant’s strength and ability to survive where it is planted amazes me sometimes. Their ability to adapt to the environment they find themselves in and make the most of the situation is spectacular. A tree or a plant’s life is determined by circumstances .. wind, animals, rain, humans .. it is all chance. When seeds are planted in a place where there is no water, no soil nutrients and still find a way to grow roots, live and even thrive I look on that as a miracle. Sometimes their lives are short-lived, but they always live it with character and a strong fight.

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ~ William Jennings Bryan

Unlike the plants and trees, we are able to choose where we live and grow. We can stay where we are originally planted or we can seek better soil. People are usually extremely curious about how I (a city girl) ended up here in the north woods. I am not 100% sure. However, like everyone else, circumstances and my choices combined over time and here I am. I am always curious as to how people end up where they are when I meet them. Some of the best stories ever written are a look at someone’s past and how their life path planted them where they are. Don’t you agree? Do you have a favorite or amazing one that I should read?

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” ~ Frank A. Clark

Some people refuse to uproot themselves and move even when conditions are poor. Instead, like the trees, they learn to adapt and survive and make the most of what has been given to them right where they are. Other people can’t wait to abandon their roots and seek sunnier locations as soon as they are able. Still others never put down roots, never tie themselves or commit themselves to any place. Which ever type of life we have, it was all about our freedom to choose where to plant ourselves. There is no perfect place without obstacles or hardships … there is just the search for the perfect place for us.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Victor Frankl
There is a big difference between living and surviving. A life that is dedicated to finding ways to survive daily is totally different from a life where you grow and thrive in the world. For some, the resources and strength to change where they are planted are not there. For these people, transplanting themselves somewhere else where they can lead a healthier life is not possible without outside help and survival is their only choice. It frustrates me to see people who have the resources and ability to move their roots instead, struggling and barely surviving in an unhealthy life that they refuse to change. I wonder what keeps some people rooted in unhealthy, survival type environments? Connections to others? A stubbornness? The inability to recognize that they can move and change? Sentimental reasons? Fear? A strong desire to fix things?

The story of our struggle to find a good place to plant healthy roots make us who we are. I hope you will share your “root planting” thoughts and philosophies. Where are you in that struggle? Where are your roots planted? Do you have sufficient healthy nutrients to live where you are? How did you decide where to plant your roots? If you are not planted somewhere, what directs you to the next place? Can you be planted in more than one place? What are some signs that it is time to transplant ourselves somewhere else? How can we tell whether we should be transplanting ourselves or whether we should stay put and tackle the next obstacle?

~ by bearyweather on June 30, 2011.

4 Responses to “Planting our Roots . . .”

  1. Hi Bearyweather, A very inspirational and uplifting post today. I am pleased with the roots in my life and have done my darndest with my now nearly 30 year old son. Have a fantastic day and a most pleasant holiday weekend!

  2. Those are wonderful quotes and commentary. I know I’ve changed my leaves more than once in life, with the roots intact, as Mr. Hugo observed. The challenge is to know when to change, and how you’re keeping to your roots.

    • Knowing when to change is really the big question, isn’t it? I find it is easier to recognize the need in others to move/change then it is to see it for myself. I get bogged down in the “trying to make it work” phase sometimes when maybe it is time to move on and change things around. Stepping back and looking at it with new, more distant eyes sometimes helps … but, sometimes the passion keeps me bound. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

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