Quotes & Poems  

BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED – a nurturing thought by Lisa C


I have a bizarre affection for cemeteries, graveyards, to be more precise.  I find them historically interesting and mysteriously thought-provoking.  Strangely, every time I walk into one, I am reminded of my mother’s admonition “bloom where you’re planted”.  Indeed!  For there lies proof-positive, people, quite literally, pushing up the daisies. 

Walking amongst the gently mounds, or around the slightly sunken earth in older burial sites, I note names and dates of real people who inhabited this planet. Many of the old stones tell stories, etched forever in the granite or marble – “lost at sea”, “ran out of time”, and one I saw in Maine that noted “Here, but From Away”. The current rush to cremation, (because we are told we are running out of space), makes me a little sad. In my own family, there are fewer and fewer tombstones and more and more ashes thrown or gently deposited on the wind and wave.  These family members are lost, quite literally, to my sight as their names are not engraved in granite, although my son when I commented that my mother’s burial at sea left me somewhat rootless and lacking a visual and virtual remembrance, comforted me with “Mom, 3/4 of the world is water.  How big a tombstone do you need?”

Recently, I thought about my immediate family, a term I actually had to look up just to see what comprises an “immediate family”.   Spouse, parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, mother and father-in-law, bothers and sisters-in law, sons and daughters-in-law. Adopted, half and step members are also included.  That’s a boat-load of people who at one time or another had to “bloom where they were planted”.  So taken aback was I at this prospect that I attempted to tick off the various dots on the globe representing cities and towns where each my immediate family members have spent more that a three-year span at any one time. That totaled 41 towns and cites in 12 countries in the western hemisphere.

Taking it one step further, I asked a number of these globetrotters what it took to “bloom” in any of these spots, for certainly there were geographical, cultural and language barriers, plus the general angst of finding one’s way around a new place. 

Consistently, it was a single person, reaching out to them in friendship, in concern - a helping hand, if you will, proffered in a gesture of inclusion. 

In this fast paced world where “me” seems to be the mantra, where “us” and “them” are the plural version, we would do well to realize, and act upon, our ability to scratch the surface of the earth and sow a seed of kindness that those new in our midst might “bloom where they are planted”. We then become a form of water and fertilizer, a feeding, a nurturing of someone rootless in our neck of the woods.  If we took the time, or even considered how to help someone feel welcome in our community, we might find that many of our perceived differences might not be different at all.

We have the potential to grow a community garden of blooms! All of us have had to “bloom where we were planted”, and I will bet we can all name the sunshine of someone who warmed our hearts and helped us feel at home.


From the pen of Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher and poet,1821-1881, I've adapted this quote:

"Life is short, no matter the length of our days.
We do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us.
So be swift to love.
Make haste to be kind. And may our Creator, our Sustainer, and the Spirit which is ever present be with each of us this day and always."


The moon rolls out of celestial sight
Dawn stretches above the tree line
Fiddleheads unfurl
A wet fawn wobbles at her mother’s knees
Caterpillars nestle in their tree tents
A wren fashions her home of twigs

A thick straight stick becomes my walking staff
and I go forth
into yet another spring

Baptized by rain
I am reborn

New Beginnings
as it was in the beginning
is now
and ever shall be
World without end

How long will I behold
this endless cycle
until I exhale for the last time

Does it matter
as long as I believe
in new beginnings

Wouldn't this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say -
"I know something good about you!"
And treat us just that way?

Wouldn't it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp, fond and true,
Carried with it this assurance -
"I know something good about you!"

Wouldn't life be lots more happy
If the good that's in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?

Wouldn't life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there's such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me!

Wouldn't it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking, too?

You know something good about me;
I know something good about you.

Author:    Louis C Shimon
Born in Russia in 1901, and moved with his family to Watertown, US in 1903.  He was a humorist who wrote the column "Laugh. a Little," which appeared in newspapers and other publications.  His poem "I Know Something Good About You" was included in Hazel Felleman's book "the Best Loved Poems of the American People" (1936).  Louis C Shimon passed on at 44 years of age in Watertown, Wisconsin.