Two weeks ago, I took a hard fall and broke my shoulder. While the injury itself has been inconvenient and has impacted, to a rather significant degree, my ability to fully engage in my work as a flower farmer and designer, it is the timing of such an injury that feels devastating.
It is spring, my favorite season, with so much work to do on the farm. It is the time of year when it feels the very best to be outside, in the dirt, to get back into the groove of being really busy, testing physical limits and creative energies, and witnessing the miracles of nature at every turn.
I’ve found myself in an unfamiliar place.
I am no longer in control of everything. Not that I ever was. For so long, I let myself believe that everything would fall apart without me, that I had to operate everything and have my hands on all things if they were to be successful. It is a combination of ego, fear, and my Type A tendencies. But there is freedom in letting go, turning things over to others, and leaning on others for help in a moment of need. It’s hard, and it’s also magnificent. And, in my case, it is also temporary.
In a few months, I will be able to get back to business as usual, hopefully with a greater sense of gratitude for all that I take for granted. I will move forward with a better sense of balance and care as I move through the world. And also, hopefully, with a deeper respect and appreciation for those in my life whose vulnerability is not temporary or chosen, but is an inevitable part of living life every day.
As I often do, I think of Raimee and his peers who, in many circumstances, have come to understand and experience vulnerability as an unavoidable way of life. At 26, Raimee has to ask for help to get together with his friends, go to church, get groceries or go out for dinner, and to engage in employment. Although I know he loves his work at Blawesome, he has had to relinquish a significant amount of agency over what type of employment might be possible for him based on the limited options available or the ability of others to create something meaningful for him. He watches his younger siblings drive away in their cars, tour colleges in other states, host parties with their friends, and plan summer trips together- without needing their parents or caregivers to tag along. He watches them discover romance, and talk about future plans around marriage, careers, and having a family of their own. And yet, he shows up in the world every day with a smile. With optimism. With curiosity and gratitude. He asks me about my shoulder and reminds me that in 10 weeks I’ll be as good as new. He tells me not to worry, “You’ve got this.” It is humbling in the most extraordinary way.
With the evidence of spring, new life, and fresh starts happening all around me, it seems time to cultivate a fresh perspective, foster a spirit of recognition for all the silver that has etched its way around the details of my life, and take inventory of every good (and seemingly bad) thing in my day to day. I have so much. Everything is an opportunity. And I have one of the best teachers a mom (a farmer, a social worker, a human) could ever ask for.
I hope this season can be a time of celebration and inspiration that draws all of us towards a way of seeing the world through a lens of gratitude, that we can be thankful for opportunities to lean into our vulnerabilities and put our trust into our friends and support systems, and that this spring we can acknowledge the miracles that are possible and present if we know how to look for them with humility.
I hope these days find you in awe of all that surrounds you. Spring is here, let’s rejoice and be glad!