Transplanting | It’s A Metaphor

Spring came early to Wisconsin this year, already juvenile morning doves perch on our budding red maple pestering their parents for meals, the daffodils have come and gone,  lilacs and tulips currently hold court. Any other year you would have already caught sight of me out in the garden in the evening and wee hours of the morning, weeding and dreaming while the kids were abed; a twilight and misty morning gardener am I.

Today was the first day I pulled out a trowel and slipped into my gardening gear.  While keeping up a chatty stream of conversation with a dear friend, I dug around roots of bleeding hearts, virginia blue bells, hollyhocks, lemon sorrel, primroses, rannaculas, lambs ear, and sedum.  Carefully each translplant was slipped into a soulless plastic pot, lugged to my friend’s waiting jeep, and taken off to a new garden. Hopefully the transplant process won’t be too hard on them.  I worry about the blue bells.

If my mom was a flower, she would be a zinnia. I don’t know what flower I’d be, but whatever it is, it’s something that transplants well.


The kids were eager for a picnic lunch in the sunshine so I stowed my gardening gear, washed my hands, and went on with what needed to be done for the day.  Within a month or two all the garden beds that I have cultivated for the past four years will be weeds or tilled back into lawn and seeded with grass.  A few drifts of lambs ear and the ever reseeding Love In The Mist will survive, a tiny testament to the time we poured into this soil.

Last year, when we returned from Ukraine, we found a beautifully landscaped yard waiting for us.  I was touched by the gift and took it as a sign that our family was really putting down roots, we had gone through so much upheaval, but now things were going to go smoothly.  God had other plans and other timelines. In the past few months doors have closed, and closed hard, and my garden dreams had to be scrapped as my husband and I now find ourselves preparing to transplant our family 858 miles away within the next two weeks nine days.

Now take a deep breath because it’s going to be okay, it may actually be magnificent.

Our family has been through so much in the past twelve months, this time last year we were gearing up to head to Ukraine. I can hardly fathom we are stepping out into a new adventure quite so soon. When I think about how recently we grafted two children into the family, the travel, the transplanting, the trauma, well it’s easy to worry about how this move may strain our roots and weaken those raw grafts.  If our hope was built on anything less than the promise of salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ who strengthens us, then honestly I don’t think we as a family would have endured the past 12 months.   But we have endured, it feels like we are on the cusp of flourishing, and this transplant into vibrant soil with vigorous growth all around is right for our family even though the timing seems wrong.

Needless to say, I’ll be gone from Heath&Home for the foreseeable future but I will be back and the name will stay the same. I learned long ago to carry home with me wherever I go: that is the secret of my transplant life.


5 comments on “Transplanting | It’s A Metaphor

  1. Hi Heaths! I am a sister and aunt to several Lutheran pastors, I am well acquainted with the transplanting process. I have to confess when I saw how many miles you would be going from your current home, I was hoping you might be heading in my direction: Northern Indiana…? if you will be close to us I would love to get together sometime!.

    • Northern Indiana is about half way to our final destination, we are heading to sunny New York state! How close are you to Ft Wayne? We do occasionally swing through that city.

      • Fort Wayne is my home! did you happen to attend the Ft Wayne Seminary? New York State… wow, adventure awaits! will you be in one of the pretty areas?

      • Yes indeed both my father and my husband attended the Ft Wayne sem so I’ve spent a smattering of years there. When we are in town we try to attend Redeemer for church.
        We will be in the Finger Lakes region which is a gorgeous area 🙂

  2. Alas… 1,500+ miles from us. =/ I’m glad you have a friend to bequeath your dear garden plants to. I’m so sorry that your goodbyes have to include farewells to Mrs. Heath’s first garden. Chin up! A new garden awaits!

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