13 March 2008

Lessons from the Nursery

Although this week has been my Spring Break, I have spent the last four days working at my summer job. During the summers, I work at a nursery called "Garden Gateway" here in Utah. The nursery isn't open for the season yet, but there is still alot of work to do, so I've been mixing soil and transplanting tiny plants. Apparently, there are several things to learn from working with plants and the transplanting has got me thinking about a few things.

There are several steps to the transplanting process. First, you have to mix the soil, which takes some practice. The soil needs to be the right soil for whatever you're planting. The soil has to have the right amount of moisture mixed into it in order for the new plants to thrive. Next, you have to fill up hundreds of containers for the seed plugs (plants) to go into. Then, you remove the plugs from the tray and transplant them into their new pots. Finally, the pots are tagged with the correct plant tag and then placed in rows for watering. This process continues throughout the season, because if you don't remove the plants from the pots as they grow, they'll become rootbound and die because there is not enough room for them to grow and flourish.

While the process is fairly straightforward and not at all difficult, it doesn't always go completely smoothly. Sometimes, the seed plugs are tough to pull out from the tray and sometimes, when you're removing the seed plugs the top of the plant comes off, but the roots are still intact. Sometimes all that comes out of the tray is a tiny plant with a few roots.

I've been thinking that maybe life requires transplanting sometimes. This winter has been really tough for me, as most of you know. I feel like I've been completely torn out of my the life that I wanted and was thrown into a completely new and different life that I'm not sure how to live. I feel like one of the little plants that got its top ripped off and barely has any roots. I feel like I'm sort of in a new pot, but I'm not sure if it's the pot that I thought I would be in or if it's even the right size pot for me. However, I do know that everything will work out.

I truly believe that the challenges we face in life offer us opportunities for true and real growth. I think that we have to be pulled (sometimes literally) from our comfort zones to find out what we're truly made of and to help us become who we're meant to become. I think it's so easy to stay in our comfort zones and ruts, but maybe we become rootbound and lose the opportunity and ability to truly grow. Perhaps sometimes we need more room to grow and thrive and perhaps the life that we're living, doesn't allow for that growth. Sometimes, all we really have is our little tiny roots that remind us of who we are. Sometimes, we don't know what our life will look like, but we know if we keep surviving and digging down deep to find the answers within ourselves, we will develop the life that we can be living.

So, perhaps, while this winter has been hard and long, the spring is finally coming. Perhaps, this new life that I've been forced into is the one that I'm supposed to be in. Perhaps, I can find the answers that I'm seeking within myself and build the life that I want to be living. Perhaps being transplanted, while not exactly a choice, is a positive thing that will allow me to grow and develop into a better person. Perhaps, there are lessons we can learn from a nursery.