Braid Mission


The Journey of Growth

plant small

A couple of years ago I was gifted a succulent in a wonderfully bright yellow pot.

I like house plants so was very excited about the gift. I say I like house plants but that does not mean that I am an expert in gardening. Not in the least. I usually take the trial and error approach to the maintenance and health of my plants, of which there are many. Occasionally I may read a label that tells you that this plant likes lots of sun or moist soil. But, with this particular gift there was no label or instruction so I defaulted to my preferred gardening technique.

Over the course of the first year the poor plant was to be found in several locations and received watering in irregular patterns. All I can say is it didn’t die.

Then one day I moved it to a big window behind the kitchen sink which gets intermittent sunlight. Now being next to the kitchen sink, it started getting more water than I believed necessary for a succulent.

The result was astounding.

The plant took off for the sky like a bean stalk in a fairy tale. I began to think I was growing the next Jacob’s ladder and I would soon see angels ascending and descending from the heavens.

This plant had finally been gifted with the location that was so so right for it. This succulent had found its space – its sacred space – and thrived and grew and became its glorious self.

I do not want to force the metaphor and am cautious in making this analogy, but it was not lost on me that surely the journey of this succulent can be seen as being somewhat akin to the journey of young person in foster care.

The hope is that the system, for all its struggles and shortcomings, does its best to move a young person in the hope that it will find a space, a sacred space, where the young person can feel safe and begin to absorb nutrients, to be nurtured and be watered and grow to become the Self that was intended from the beginning. The hope is that that youth can begin to grow in such a way that they become the agent for the movement of angels.

However, while it might be most explicit in the experience of foster care, I believe this succulent can be a symbol for every human journey.

That is, all of us are on a journey of discovery, looking for that location, that place where we feel best and rooted and can situate. And finding that space, that sacred space, we can begin to absorb the nutrients and the nurturing, begin to lap the waters of life in a way that are saturating and relieve our thirst. We can begin to soak in the sacredness of light and stretch for the heavens, becoming the agent for angels to ascend and descend from the heavens.

We become the self we are created to become.

A worthy journey.

The only journey worth living for.