Being Planted and Dementia

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I’ve been watching this bad boy grow on my walk each day.  It grows in the seam between sidewalk and curb, and does so in the midst of a drought.  This particular plant is about two feet high and easily that wide.  Despite the lack of moisture, its flowers are blooming.  Later on in the year, it will break loose from it’s roots and turn into the venerable tumbleweed.  As it rolls across the Texas landscape, driven by the prevailing winds, it will leave its seeds along the way.  It is the ultimate model of efficiency.  And, it’ll be filled with thorns, which is why people encourage them to keep them on rolling.

There’s that old saying, “Bloom where you’re planted”.  The humble tumbleweed does just that.  It doesn’t complain about where it ends up; when it gets there, it just blooms, and keeps the cycle rolling.  From the steppes of Russia to the southwestern United States, the Tumbleweed blooms wherever its planted, the ultimate road warrior you don’t want to mess with.

I suspect we’ve all been planted in some nasty place, at one time or another.  We don’t always get to choose where it is we’re planted.  At times, we can’t understand why such things happen to us.  Blooming is the last thing we want to do in those places.  But as the humble Tumbleweed illustrates, where we’re planted is, well, right where we are.

My sense is that the great religious leaders of our world understood this.  They realized that every place was holy, and yet had its own baggage.  Rather then wandering from one place to another, they put down strong roots and learned to live in the moment.  We call them Saints because they stayed planted.  They were nourished by the power of faith.  The same faith awaits us, if we choose to bloom where we’re planted.

Sometimes we just have to trust in the moment.  I don’t why I ended up with dementia.  I’ll probably never know, but it doesn’t change things.  I’ve decided to live like the  tumbleweed, and to bloom where I’m planted.  I figure that’s enough for each day.  I’ll keep an eye on the tumbleweed’s progress and when it moves, I’ll get out of the way.

The world only gets better when we bloom where we’re planted.  And we can bloom, even in the absence of light.  We can become the light of the world.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  Bloom wherever it is you’ve been planted.   The need has never been greater.

Blessings,

Fr Dave

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