In loss there is growth

photo of palm houseplant

This is a post about what can grow in the dark places. The shadows where love used to be, the places that are tender and raw, that seem arid and malnourished, and yet give way to light and hope and growth.

These plants have risen from the ashes of loss. They’ve been reaching for the sky, gulping down sunlight and water for 17 years. They’ve moved with care to bigger homes to make way for their roots. They’ve accompanied me through job change, divorce, reinvention, heartbreak, hard lessons, rebuilding, partnership, fear, joy, and everything in between.

Looking at these three plants – one of which is taller than I am – you’d never suspect that they once shared a little pot. You see, this was the living offering that I received when my father died 17 years ago. And while he could no longer witness my journey, I’ve had these living companions along for the ride.

With each inch of growth, each new leaf sprouting, they remind me that there is hope and life and that in time the shadows become less scary, the centre strengthens and holds you upright. The cycle of death and rebirth is constantly bringing transformation and change. Looking at these old friends I remember where I’ve walked and the lessons I hold dear. I know that I can do hard things. And I say a little prayer for Dad, that he be at peace and continue to watch over me.

There is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and no loss without pain.

Rick Warren

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