I love what my friend Katie wrote on her blog:
Several times during my various trainings to prepare for moving overseas to work with Cru, we worked through an analogy of transition that involves replanting a flower. Moving it from one home to another, so to speak. I found the analogy quite helpful, and refer to it often when people ask me how my transition to life in Germany is going.
One day this past fall shortly after I had moved into my new apartment, I was strolling down my quiet street and discovered a green succulent with pretty pink flowers that had once been potted (on someone’s balcony, I assume) lying on its side on the sidewalk. The pot had broken and was completely gone, but the flower seemed to be hanging on. It’s roots had even kept the shape of the old pot it had been living it. It seemed like it might have a chance if it made it into a new home soon, so I decided to rescue it, re-pot it, and see what would become of the pretty little thing. The first few weeks in its new home on my kitchen windowsill, my transition flower stayed alive but was visibly struggling. The tiny pink blossoms dried up and fell off, but the leaves stayed green. I kept watering it, watched patiently and went about the business of settling slowly into my new surroundings myself. The roots must have been deepening and taking hold, because one day I noticed my transition flower was seeming a little more lively than it had been. Then one by one, I began to notice tiny, waxy leaves where there hadn’t been any before. Then a bud or two. Now, this week, the first few of the new blossoms have unfurled in a sweet baby pink. I think my transition flower still has a ways to go before it will be completely settled and thriving again in its new home, but it seems to be on its way. I think I am, too.
I wish that little plant was able to talk and we could compare notes! I can relate so well: the roots that are trying to adapt from one shape to a different one yet often still feel oddly out of place. Leaves that looked quite healthy suddenly shriveling. But in time new ones growing as well, and even tiny little flowers appearing.
I wonder what the process feels like for a plant? For me, it’s painful. And fun. And exciting. And sad. And exhausting. And so much more. All at the same time.