Bloom where you’re planted. I imagine when people say this to us, they think they’re being nice, helpful, optimistic in a time when we’re unable to be. Say it with me. Say it in that nice, soft, voice that your husband and/or children haven’t heard in a while. “Bloom where you’re planted.” Say it with grand hand gestures and a wide smile that shows all your pearly whites.
This is not what I hear when someone tells me to bloom where I’m planted. I hear it as a command, “Bloom where you’re planted!” Say it with me. Say it using a lower, more forceful voice. Instead of grand, pageant gestures, wag your finger and narrow your gaze, revealing those annoying wrinkles you’ve begun to develop between your unkempt eyebrows (no? Just me?).
Bloom! Bloom where you’re planted!
What if I don’t want to bloom? I bloomed before, and I don’t want to bloom again. Besides, I think it’s too hot to bloom in this new desert locale to which the military has kindly sent us.
When people tell us to bloom where we’re planted, I imagine they think of us blooming as brightly colored, deep, multi-petaled roses, soft, yet tough. But maybe we’re not roses. Maybe we’re dandelions. The white, puffy kind of dandelion, spreading seeds as the wind blows. We don’t stay in one place very long, but we can uproot and start over at a moment’s notice. Now that rose, she needs to be tended. She is dependent upon the gentle care of another. She requires the perfect climate, the perfect amount of water, with the perfect soil in order to bloom her brightest.
But the dandelion, ah, the dandelion. She’s pesky in her resilience. She can grow anywhere. Even in the crack of a sidewalk. Mavan, my dear, you are a dandelion. You may not always be rosy, and some may call you a weed. But despite fear, reluctance, anger maybe, you go where the wind blows. Now it may take a little while, but I say with confidence, you will bloom again.