Have you ever paid attention to the process a plant goes through when it is transplanted? In its original soil it is usually healthy and happy, though something catches your attention and makes you think, “Hmm… something isn’t right here.” So you move the plant to new soil, and at first there is no noticeable sign of change. Things appear different than they once were, but only because the plant is in a new location. Generally though, the plant looks okay, until you suddenly wake up one morning to find your happy plant not looking so happy anymore. The leaves are wilting and maybe even turning a sickly shade of yellow. The plant is getting used to its new environment, although it doesn’t look like it’s enjoying the process. However, after looking pretty sad for awhile, the plant begins to thrive anew, growing new leaves that are even fuller than before. It might even produce flowers or fruits that you didn’t even know it was capable of.
I’ve had the opportunity these last few months to transplant many plants in the garden, and I am always amazed by the fruitful results. It’s not so hard then, to apply this same process to what I have been going through myself. When I applied to YAGM, I had the uncomfortable sensation of having ‘outgrown my pot’, and was ready to try something new. Once transplanted to my African environment, I was so overwhelmed and excited that I didn’t notice much of a drastic change in myself. Then, December arrived, and I found myself feeling strangely… yellow. I was unsettled and restless. I felt a bit droopy as I settled in to my daily routines; my new exotic environment didn’t seem so new or even exotic anymore. The novelty had worn off, leaving me prone to face a sometimes disappointing and frustrating reality. No, I don’t know what you’re saying when you speak in isiZulu. Yes, I was really looking forward to moving to Swaziland in January. No, I don’t think I can watch another minute of WWE Wrestling on TV. I felt confined and trapped in my new container.
However, just as abruptly as it arrived, one day this wilting feeling of discontent left. I woke up to a renewed appreciation of my surroundings; once again I was basking in the sunlight, noticing things I hadn’t before, and enjoying the people, places, and yes, even plants, alongside me. Yes, I recognize that face! Yes, I know where to buy that! Of course I can pick spinach for you! As I write this, signs of new life are everywhere- flowers are blooming, vegetables are growing, and the weeds are sprouting like crazy. All is as it should be. As for myself, I feel rejuvenated and joyful in my home environment. I know that I too am producing blossoms and fruits that though are growing now may not be harvested for some time. But without being transplanted, they might never have been at all! I was afraid when I recognized the signs of sad yellow leaves in myself, but I shouldn’t have been. They were merely a herald of the fruitful things which are to come! Hurrah for being transplanted!