What has nature taught you lately? Last week, I knew I faced a daunting task I was procrastinating about for a few months now. Last fall my husband and I dug up the banana trees planted around our deck, covered the roots and stored all of them in the crawl space under our house for winter.
Well, we replanted two-thirds of them the first week in April this year and after being so pooped and achy from a days worth of replanting, I left the balance of them in the crawl space to trash on another day. Well, needless to say, I kept putting off this chore and finally decided that they had to go before the 4th of July got here. Although I tried to give the trees away, people are not as fascinated by caring for banana trees as I am. So everyone declined the gift.
On June 27, I put on my gardening gloves, fought the creepy crawlers and colony of spiders (Ewwww) that slowly scattered when I opened the crawl space door and I stood there looking in a state of shock. Yep, I was amazed that in the darkness, trees began to sprout perpendicularly and busted through the plastic bags that the root of the tree was housed in. Totally freaked me out. I cut the host stalks off and discarded them, but kept the new sprouts as you can see from the photos.
I suppose these youngins taught me a lesson about growing in the shadows of death valley. They showed me what it is like to keep ‘going’ and ‘growing’ where you are, even when darkness and hopelessness surround you. When the host stalk appeared to die, their roots of endurance continued to thrive, perhaps at a slower pace, but nonetheless, their perseverance under duress made me examine myself under similar spiritual conditions.
Sometimes when situations look hopeless, when you suffer oppression from injustice and abuse, or when grief strikes you so violently that all you can do is moan, as easy as it may feel to just give up, wither and die, that is the very time you never give up. That’s a tough thing to do, but yet a very courageous decision to make.
I am reminded of two things from this experience with these baby banana trees: the poem, written by Jane Eggleston, “It’s in the Valleys I Grow” and a quote someone gave me when my father passed away, “Bloom Where God Plants You.” The older we get, everyone will go through an “in the valley of the shadows of death” experience; some more extreme than others, but this is a test of resilience and individual fortitude that we claim victory in spite of.