Mother’s Day is in three days. The past five years I’ve hosted a big Mother’s Day dinner at our house with both my family and my in-laws. We eat lasagna and cake and I’m plenty distracted to keep from counting the years of childlessness. This year that isn’t happening. In fact, due to all the rona restrictions, I’ve had more quiet to think and process than I have in a long time. And this phrase keeps cycling through my head: Bloom where you are planted. I’ve tried to embrace this phrase throughout my life, particularly with our infertility. It’s been a motto to push me towards contentment. But lately, I’ve also been thinking a lot about gardening.
This past year, I learned that fall is one of the best seasons to plant new plants. When you plant flowers in the spring, they’ll bloom with the season and possibly die because they were so focused on blooming instead of growing roots. When you plant flowers in the fall, they’ll go into hibernation and spend a whole season growing strong roots before the spring comes to bring the flowers.
Guess what you guys. I’ve been forcing the bloom. Here I am, taking what life gives, blooming where I’m planted, refusing to feel things or to grieve, putting on the happy face. In this dry spell of social activity, the blooms didn’t need to come out and I found that my root system is pretty shallow. My support system is extremely small. I forced myself to bloom where I am instead of making decisions to deepen my roots. And if I want to be healthier mentally, I have to change it. How? I’m not sure yet but it’s the kind of thing that once it’s brought to your attention, you do something about it.
So, when you’re stuck in something like infertility, I want to encourage you, sister to sister. Don’t force yourself to bloom. Don’t let anyone tell you to bloom. Don’t feel guilty for the lack of bloom. Nobody else sees the roots you’re growing deep and strong. And someday, you’ll bloom big and bright and confident just because it was time. Don’t just bloom where you’re planted. Bloom when you are ready.