-kjwuest 2011
Several years ago there was a very popular saying: 

                        bloom where you are planted

It is a saying that speaks directly to determination. When faced with difficulty it is often easier to slip into survival mode--and sometimes that is exactly what we need to do--it is called survival mode for a reason. 

But, survival mode is not a place to live. It is not necessarily a place where significant growth occurs. Although, later on you may be able to look back and see that seeds for growth were planted during a time of survival mode functioning.

This picture was taken in the driveway of our old house. I took this picture during a long period of functioning in survival mode--a time of great change, job loss, of being the caregiver to a terminally ill loved one, and a time of clearing out the house we had lived in for 9 or so years. Every once in awhile I would be confronted with something amazing like this flower growing through a tiny crack in the driveway, and I would be in awe. I would stop in my tracks--usually with the car door open and one foot in midair on it's way into the car.

The fragile beauty of this determined flower blooming where no plant would choose to be planted made me stop in admiration.  How did it manage to get enough of a foothold to grow? Not just grow and fizzle, but bloom beautifully whole? I stopped to admire and consider it's determination. And I took it as a reminder to not let myself be stuck in survival mode for too long. I needed to make the choice, and the effort, to bloom where I was planted. My current circumstances did not need to define who I was and how I would live. Even in limitation and transition I had choices and I could bloom.

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