I pull hard to free the plant from its bed. I want to make sure I get all of it. Plants pull up easy. It is the roots that resist.
I set it down and look at the roots, dangling and exposed on the concrete.
Roots are out of place on this hard ground. They are meant to be surrounded by soil, embraced by nourishment and protection.
There are times when a transfer from one bed to another is the healthiest thing for a plant. Perhaps the new bed will have more sun. Perhaps the neighbors will be more suitable. Perhaps the plant will be more visible to its gardener.
Whatever the reason for a move, if a plant is going to a new bed, there will be a transition period. When it is released from its old bed, but is not yet planted in the new.
In this time in between, a plant is at its most vulnerable. It cannot live long without the stable home of water and dirt.
I look at this plant, and know that it is me.
Precarious and exposed as I sit in transition.
I am moving next month. This is not a surprise. We knew our time was limited in this city.
But now that we have begun the process of moving, I am taken aback. Something has happened that I did not expect.
I grew roots. Deep roots in just one year.
Last year, when I looked ahead to what the move would be like, I was not afraid. I knew this place was temporary. I figured that in such a short time, I would be an easy plant to pull.
But something happened. This year. This year has been wonderful. The schedule I have kept. The church I have joined. The friends I have made. They have fed my soul and enriched my life.
So now, I find that my roots are long. They dug deep into the soil. And the transition is harder than I expected.
My roots have been pulled, and I am left feeling bare.
I know this is a good move. It will be close to many family members and friends. It will be a great job for my husband. It is a move to a good garden in which I am confident our family will flourish.
But still, the transition is difficult.
In order to say hello to something new, I have to say goodbye to something cherished.
Yet, even as I type this, I look at these roots again, and wonder.
Maybe I am not being uprooted. Maybe I am just entering a new season.
So much in life is uncertain. People move. Families grow and shrink. Jobs come and go. Seasons of feeling vulnerable are common.
But maybe it is roots that provide us the stability and nourishment to sustain those changes.
Maybe this is what Jeremiah meant. Maybe, if my roots are in the Lord, I will be able to bear the change of seasons with grace.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” - Jeremiah 17:7-8
This move in so many ways feels like a gift from God. Perhaps my feelings of nakedness are reminders to root myself in Him through the changes. To follow Him. To trust in Him.
And this makes me wonder again. If my roots are in the Lord, they are not bound by location. My friendships can come with me to a new place. Our skies may be different, but our roots are by the same stream.
That is a comforting thought indeed.
What do you think? Have you ever moved? Does it feel more like uprooting or just a change of seasons?