Bloom Where You are Planted

Have you ever happened upon a stray flower thriving in what seemed to be a very uninhabitable environment such as a crack in the sidewalk or perhaps a tangle of weeds?  For all practical purposes it should have been choked out and killed, or at the very least become weak and fragile, but there it stands, straight and tall, petals lifted towards the sun in all its splendor, as if in defiance.  How often have we found ourselves in such an environment, either of our own making, or of no fault of our own?  A dark or uncomfortable place where to the onlooker there appears to be no way out, no chance for a positive outcome. It is difficult to think that anyone could possibly thrive or even grow in such a situation, but somehow, we do.

My thoughts turn to those of us who have experienced trauma in our lives, no matter the severity.    Even though we find ourselves in the middle of heartrending circumstances, we somehow discover a strength we never knew we had.  We find a way to dig deep, throw down roots, elbow our way through the thorns and brambles, and finally feel the warm rays of hope upon our faces and grow, confounding the naysayers.  I have had the privilege of meeting some of these inspiring individuals, these survivors, and warriors, and have come to find that they exhibit love and compassion on a much higher level.  One that is deep, heart-felt, and genuine.  I like to refer to them as “kindred spirits.” They are the individuals you meet along your journey that you connect with quickly and deeply.  It’s as if you have known them for much longer than you have.  Someone that you can be vulnerable with and feel safe doing so.  If you too have met some “kindred spirits,” you are one of the lucky ones!

Perhaps your experience has not been one of trauma, but maybe you have experienced the pain of being taken advantage of or stepped upon.  I am currently in the process of rehabbing a house and due to some of the outdoor construction, my hostas have been trampled to the ground.  This has not bothered me however, because I know they will heal from their injuries and come back healthy and strong.  So can we.  We can choose resilience just like those hostas knowing that the pain and injustice we may be facing is only temporary.  It will pass, and we will heal and grow.

Flowers are also diverse, even within the same garden, found in every shape, size, and color of the rainbow.  Each unique and beautiful on its own, but when placed together in a bouquet, creates a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.  Much the same, our families, workplaces, and communities are made up of all types of people. Some may be a bit prickly, others fragrant and sweet, all necessary and valuable to the “bouquets” in our life.

These lessons learned from the humble flower have inspired us here at the Chamber to theme our Annual Women’s Conference, Bloom.  Our goal is for women to understand and realize that it doesn’t matter what type of environment they may find themselves in whether it be in their personal or work lives, even if the conditions are not perfect, they can still grow and thrive.  The same sun shines on us all, the same rain waters our soil, and to quote Lady Bird Johnson, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”

If you are interested in attending our Chamber Women’s Bloom Conference, scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, at Hungry Run Distillery, we would love to have you. Please contact the Chamber office at 717.248.6713 or to receive more information.