Unexpected gifts and growth

The other day I received a little nugget of inspiration and encouragement — while I was taking out the trash of all things. It was a Wednesday (a.k.a. Trash Day), and I was struggling to maneuver the stinky gray plastic bin with the noisy plastic wheels through the almost-too-narrow gap between my car and the garage door frame. What made it a ridiculous scene was that I was wearing a dress and heels as I was headed out to a meeting.

I could have planned ahead and put the bin out the night before.  But no.

The bin was heavy and characteristically uncooperative as it was overloaded with not just a week’s worth of trash, but also some random and rather weighty things I had tossed in as I was tidying up the garage the weekend before.  I had maneuvered the bin through the gap successfully and was clumsily turning it around so I could begin pulling it up my sloping driveway to the curb.

Just at that moment I happened to look down. There just beneath the downspout was a tiny lantana plant with rich green leaves and a delicate yellow blossom.

Lantana growing in concreteV2My first thought was, “How did that get there?”  My second thought was one of delight– and relief.

A few days prior I had seen what appeared to be a weed growing in that very spot. I had meant to pull it. After all, it didn’t belong there and was marring the stark, concrete-to-concrete perfection of where the driveway meets the foundation of my house.

But I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Other things had demanded my attention. Or perhaps I had been too tired to bother to yank it out.  I was suddenly glad I had resisted the urge to fix the situation.

So here it was now, a beautiful flowering, drought-resistant Native Texas perennial in what seemed to be not a weird location, but the perfect location. The plant not only brightened up a very bland space near my garage door, it was also in a place where it was receiving exactly what it needed to thrive. A few drops of precious moisture from dew that settles on the roof and runs down the downspout each morning. Just enough debris-turned-soil that’s accumulated in the gap for its roots. And the perfect amount of nourishing sunshine each morning and cooling shade in the afternoon.

Life appeared to be very good for this little plant.  And to think it was some kind of odd happenstance that put it there.

I saw some beautiful lessons in this. Here are just a few:

  • Some things are meant to grow and bloom exactly where they are planted, even if it appears to be weird or an “accident.”
  • Ah, but it is really an “accident?”
  • Resist the urge to edit, purge, and pull in order to make things “perfect.”
  • You never know what will unfold — or blossom — if you just leave things alone.
  • There is perfection in imperfection.
  • Life and growth are persistent and pervasive. They will show up where they will.

What lessons do you see here?  And what might be blooming in your world that you didn’t expect? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Please share your comments below.


And, hey, I’m putting finishing touches on a project that will result in an awesome gift for you!  Stay tuned! And if you like what you read here, please share it with a friend or on social media. Follow me via @pattidenucci on Twitter.





7 Responses to Unexpected gifts and growth
  1. Carla
    August 18, 2015 | 4:45 pm

    Love this Patti. I immediately thought “In order for something to grow, you need to water it,” both literally and figuratively.

  2. Kali Rourke
    August 19, 2015 | 7:06 am

    Lovely observations, Patti. The older I get, the more amazed I become at the patterns that unfold if I just give them time and space. Thanks for the reminder.

    • pattid
      August 19, 2015 | 7:34 am

      Thanks Kali’ and Carla, for your comments. Your lessons are great additions to the list!

  3. Lorie Marrero
    August 19, 2015 | 3:50 pm

    Well, I do encourage editing and purging. 😉 But I love this! It’s all in developing the wisdom of timing and discernment. And LISTENING to that “voice” instead of ignoring it. Nice reminder, Patti! 🙂

    • pattid
      August 19, 2015 | 4:04 pm

      Thanks for this, Lorie. I know you are definitely the queen of letting go of things that no longer serve us. And apparently the little plant was meant to be short-lived as I noticed today (since it’s Trash Day) that my well-meaning landscaper zapped it with the weed-whacker. Perhaps it will regrow when the rains come back. We can only hope. Then I’ll write about persistence and resilience!

  4. Dianna Amorde
    August 19, 2015 | 5:47 pm

    I’m impressed you had the presence in the moment to note that inspiring plant wasn’t a weed! Your list of insights is wonderful. I’d add: Trust yourself. Maybe whatever you ‘forgot’ was forgotten by design. There just might be a bigger, better plan afoot than your mind can imagine.

    • pattid
      August 20, 2015 | 9:02 am

      Thank you, Dianna and Michael. Appreciate your comments. It reminds me of something I read recently that has stuck: That God / The Universe / Nature has four potential answers or choices for you to consider: 1. Yes 2. No 3. Wait 4. There’s another choice for you in the works — a really amazing one — that hasn’t been revealed yet.

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