The vines stretched, reaching outward and upward, striving for sunlight and free ground. Out from the sturdy mother vines and protection of the older stalks, the tendrils and leaves explore, uncovering a spot to make their own. Sometimes upwards, sometimes outwards. And when they find their spot, they bloom.
The glorious beauty of a squash plant in full blossom is a sight to behold. Dozens of brilliant yellow flows bursting forth, all from one tiny little seed. And from the blossom comes the fruit and new life. I see this played out each day I go to the garden, and it continues to take my breath away.
There was that time I reach out from the comfort of home. Stretching away from the known and into the scary unknown. That time I moved to Africa.
Where I explored new places and new friends, finding new passions and skills, learning new languages and cultures. And when I found that spot, that little almost-shack in the Kalahari Desert, I bloomed.
Beyond all odds, I found what I was born to do, and I worked alongside kind-hearted but incredibly poor people to build up a village, together. In the harsh desert sun and the crazy desert storms, I found the place to bloom.
And when I left two years after arriving, I left behind a garden and a group of villagers who had worked alongside me, learning and building themselves and their community up. I went on to a new community, and eventually back to America. And now, a full year after I left permanently, I got a message.
About this school in the desert. One with a garden. One who has entered a school gardening competition and is likely to go all the way to the finals.
Friends, it’s not because of me. It’s because of them. Because of their hard work. You might think I planted the seeds and bore the fruit. I’ll let you in one a secret. The seeds were planted by them, in my heart. Which is changed forever. Their vines found a place in my heart and bloomed, turning a hobby into a passion and changing the course of my life. And then they changed the course of their own lives and their community.
Because they found a way to bloom, despite the harsh circumstances.
It’s time for Five Minute Friday, where we gather together to write on one word. As a community. Freely. Unplanned, Unscripted. We just write.
Check out Lisa-Jo’s blog for the awesomeness that is Five Minute Friday.