I live on a tree-lined street

My sister-in-law had an embroidered pillow which rested on her white loveseat which sat in an area off to the side of her kitchen in her former house. The pillow said, in green thread, "Bloom Where You're Planted" and of course had simple, colorful flowers sprouting underneath the words. The first time I saw this pillow, I thought "What a great saying." After 3 eye-opening, ego-blasting years in a teaching position that drove me to see a therapist, a move to a new city, a new job, and lots of downtime, I can now see the sunlight. The cloud which followed me around all my life, much like the dust cloud that follows PigPen from Charlie Brown, has lifted. The weather is not always clear, it rains and storms still, but mostly there are sunny days. I've moved to Richmond to start over and when I first moved here I was so excited and thrilled to begin again and to do it right this time. Well, 6 months into living here, I was not happy. The cloud was back, my apartment was a shambles, and I hated waking up to go to work every morning. I was obsessed with New York City and sad that I could not afford to move there or to London, or anywhere. Then I began to repeat and reflect on that pillow in my sister-in-laws kitchen. And while I'm not ready for blooming, at least for now, I think I'll germenate. And I'm sure, with all this sunlight, a stem will form.

Next Time

Ginko trees live 1,000 years.
Eating the leaves will clear you brain.
When I heard about them, I thought of my mother,
how much I would like to sit under one with her
in the ancient shade, nibbling
the flesh, the stem, the central vein.

~Naomi Shihab Nye

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