Friday, 1 May 2015

Where Are You Rooted?

Today I am relishing my freedom. With the start of three new courses coming up in just over a week and work hours picking up, I am unabashedly taking full advantage of this short time at a slower pace.

With Brandon still going full tilt, I am taking this time to do some things that fill me up... going to the mall, digging into a few books, meeting up with a few friends. I’m trying to heed some of my own advice that I have shared to others. My favourite saying comes from a much-loved professor, “You need to be fed to feed others.” And so, I am taking some time to feed myself.

I love Spring in Ontario... well, at least the type of Spring weather we have been having this week. My skin is soaking up the sun and it is refreshing to be able to pull out some light dresses from the corner of my closet. This afternoon I stretched out in the backyard to enjoy some light reading. A little furry friend even came by to see what I was up to...

...he didn't seem too hoppy with me taking his photo though, so he left pretty quick!

There is a huge tree in our backyard. We live in a basement apartment in my grandmother’s house so I have seen this tree many times. I have searched for Easter eggs near it, hidden behind it during hide and seek, and made myself dizzy circling it. But today as I looked at the large round trunk I couldn’t help but think about the roots that this tree has grown and buried underground.

The roots serve many purposes for a tree. They are basically the highway for nutrients in the soil to get to the tree. They deliver the good stuff. But perhaps the purpose that catches my attention the most is that the roots anchor the tree. They keep the tree steady, strong, and straight. These curling, digging, buried roots hold strong creating a foundation for this massive trunk. And as a tree grows, the roots become even more intricately intertwined.

As I sat staring at this tree I began to think of the roots that I have put down in my own life. I began to think of my own habits, goals, and routines... all things that influence my growth. I reflected on my mentors, relationships, and teachers. And as I reflected, I began to see the importance of where we are planted.

You see, the longer we are engaged in certain habits or relationships, the deeper the roots become. They can become tangled with other roots in the soil. And, in turn, they can become increasingly difficult to pull out. It would be nearly impossible for me to remove the huge trunk in the yard... it has been there too long, the roots are too deep.

We can become rooted in binge watching TV, wasting time with social media, engaging in relationships that drag us down. We can become rooted in eating poorly, forgetting our priorities, and allowing ourselves to read and watch things that do not build us up. Or at least, I can get rooted in all of these things. 

So, this afternoon as I was supposed to be relaxing, I began to ask myself some important questions: Where am I rooted? Do my roots dig into the things I value, love, and seek or are they beginning to curl and become anchored to unhealthy habits and relationships? Is the soil that I am growing on providing nutrients?

Maybe you need to ask yourself the same questions. As you grow and change, your roots will deepen wherever you are. They will become stronger and more difficult to pull out. So, just as I am processing what it might be like to dig up a few roots, maybe you should too.

The best news is that if you are anchored in the right place, I promise that you will grow and develop into a person who is stable, strong and full of life. But watch your roots, don't let them get out of control, pushing and prodding into areas that they have no right to be in. Be actively involved in where you root yourself and just watch how you flourish. 

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