Bloom where you are planted

This statement was made by Hillary Clinton during the campaign. It settled into a niche of my brain and has stirred me to consider the following analogy as I look out my window at the trees along our street in downtown Louisville.

They are not the biggest trees, almost saplings, planted just a few years ago and struggling to exist. I am sure they would have liked to begin their life on a grassy knoll in suburbia, extending their young branches heavenly to blue skies, warm breezes, rays of sun and gentle rain drops. But that was not to be their destiny.

Their destiny led them to the streets of a downtown city with all its exhaust fumes from traffic, abuse to their limbs by tall standing SUV’s and delivery trucks that scrape their overhanging young branches, the sparse wind and rain that has not been deterred by the tall buildings and the occasional beautification “expert” who assumes their branches need trimming.

In spite of the deterrents to become a mighty tree, these small saplings provide us urbanites spots of green in our concrete jungle, a promise of shade by our benches, and a holding place – for each small tree is decorated with Christmas lights to remind us that even the smallest entity can bring cheer to those of us that share this Main Street.

The trees remind me that each one of us, when we arrived on this earth, were placed where we were meant to be at the time, and for some years our care, nurturing and pruning is in someone else’s hands. As we mature, just as the tree grows and extends its arms to shade the weary who choose to rest on the benches beneath it, waves its beautiful green leaves in the spring and glorious hues of browns and gold in the fall and lights up our holidays with sparkling lights, each of us can bloom where we are planted.

The only limits are the ones we place on ourselves. Check your ledger of life from this past year and vow to smile more often, be more respectful of others, do some good deed each day for someone – even a compliment or pleasant greeting may salvage a person’s downward spiral. It is never too late to Bloom where you are planted.

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