Last fall we had an arborist come out to take a look at the old trees on our property. We have little experience with caring for trees as old as the ones that have lived here for more than sixty years. To our surprise, one of the healthiest looking trees was most in need. It had been rotting from the inside out for the past five years and was in danger of falling with the next strong storm.
Thinking about this anecdote—and all the growth happening around us this time of year—sparked something in me and made me reflect on my own journey toward a more integrated existence. A plant may look completely fine on the outside, but if you don’t focus on meeting its core needs, things will eventually fall apart. The same applies to us. If we don’t care for our core needs, we’ll hinder our ability to grow properly.
When you revive a plant that’s experiencing issues, you approach it with gentleness, keeping what’s healthy and pruning back what needs to be removed. This concept also applies to our lives. When something falls apart, it’s crucial that we don’t automatically tear ourselves down in response. Rather, we can reflect on what went wrong, tend to what needs nourishing, and adjust our approach going forward.
Our May theme will explore what the rest of the world does not see: your roots. You’re the only one who can feel your roots, both when they’re healthy and when they need better care.
The concept of tending to your roots is more about removing than adding to your plate; more about making gentle, small adjustments than taking a swift, goal-oriented approach. It centers around being thoughtful about boundaries and deciding what matters most to you.
A plant may look completely fine on the outside, but if you don’t focus on meeting its core needs, things will eventually fall apart. The same applies to us. If we don’t care for our core needs, we’ll hinder our ability to grow properly.
This May, our contributors will be writing about how to deal with attention fatigue, ways to connect with your childhood self, and recipe ideas for your favorite farmers’ market produce. I’ll be sharing my insights on our home exactly one year (!) after we moved in, along with progress updates on the design of the kids’ bedroom and yellow bathroom. We can’t wait to share this, and plenty more, with you throughout the month ahead.
As our world begins to open up, many of us will be looking to plant new seeds, foster relationships, and pursue new goals after all of this time apart. As we slowly begin to move back toward what used to be considered a “normal” pace of life, I’d encourage us all to spend some time reflecting. What seeds do we truly want to grow? Where do we want to put our attention? Intentionally choosing what areas of our life we tend to matters more than we may realize.
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BY Kate Arends - May 2, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.