Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Measurement of Growth

by Kim



I was at my nursery several times last week, to check on milkweed arrivals, and for inspiration, and for some all around nature therapy. And a lot has happened in the two weeks since I've been there.

The peach blossoms are gone and in their place are now tiny growing peaches. The azaleas are in full bloom, and the camellia run is almost over. The bees are in full-on nectar gathering mode, and there are more and more butterflies fluttering around. The herbs are plentiful, although no egg sightings yet, the fragrance in the air is intoxicating, and, there is barely a parking space to be found. Wait, I forgot mosquitoes...yes it's March and we already have mosquitoes in Texas!

All sure signs that spring is well on her way (that, and the monarchs have left their overwintering site in Mexico).

But one of the things I really noticed, was what happened between the time I took the photo above to this one (below) . . . .




Real, tangible, evidence of growth!

But is wasn't until I was driving in the car with my husband over the weekend admiring all the new green on the trees, that I started thinking about this, because yes, leaf growth is riveting in my world.

It's something you can see, something you can measure almost like days. And I began to wonder, how do we measure our growth, can we? Sure when we are kids, through adolescence and up to adulthood, you can physically see the growth. Even emotionally through all those stages. And what about once we reach that stage of adulthood, what then?

But, personal growth is just that, personal on all levels. Some much easier to see over time, and some not so much. Sometimes we grow, and then sometimes we shrink. And the measurement is most likely not universal because it will vary greatly among us.

And even though the leaves are a sign of growth, it's inside the tree trunk in its rings where the real growth lies. Some years it grows more than others, and some years not so much.

And maybe the same goes for us as long as we are always in that process of looking [inside] at our life and changing who we really are to match our beliefs and dreams, while facing our fears. I know I have some courage to gather, and fears to face, as there are some things I've been feeling led to do.   

The trees are much more dependent on the elements they need for growth, and don't even get to choose the path they are on. We however, do get to decide what's necessary for us, to decide what is missing and how we can improve and what changes we need to make. And the biggest growth doesn't happen in just knowing this, but acting on it. And as always, so much easier said than done.

Did you watch the Winter Olympics? Do you remember Amy Purdy, the snow boarder who lost her legs when she was about 19 years old to bacterial meningitis? Her story is so inspiring and to me she is the definition of personal growth.

She asked herself this question...."If my life were a book and I was the author how would I want this story to go." It changed everything for her.

And as the author of my own book, I'm asking myself the same question, while reaching for enough courage to play myself in some of the chapters.



15 comments:

Renuko Style said...

Kim, I really appreciate your thoughts on personal growth. It really spoke to me this morning as I am in a place of change. Thank you so much for putting your thoughts down in words.

Carol said...

Kim, you are such a great writer, not to mention photographer. You are so good at putting profound thoughts into words, and your themes are universal. Thanks for this thought-provoking essay this morning -ya got me going!

Kelly Kardos said...

Personal growth is so important to not get stagnent and just be present and live this one life we've been given. I agree Carol 100%!! Xo

heyjudephotography said...

I completely agree with Carol - you have such a talent of putting profound thoughts into words. I think you have us all thinking this morning....well done!

Susan said...

Kim, this is a very touching story and also close to my heart! Your so right about growth in nature vs growth in humans. It reminds me of that quote that says something like this...Be kind to everyone you meet, as you never know what kind of struggles they may be facing. Beautiful greens...thanks for sharing!

Dotti said...

I do love the signs of spring you've shared! Ours are a wee bit hard to find just yet, some daffodils and grape hyacinths. But the buds almost defy detection. Anyhow, yes. About personal growth. It's true that it continues our whole lives. I've often looked back at myself at younger ages, when I first married, when my daughter was born, when I started working at the college where I worked for 26 years, etc., etc. And in each frame, I see a person who is different in some way than she was in the frame before, who learned as she traveled the path she was on. I now know what it means to say, 'If only I'd known then what I know now ...'. I'm humbled to say that as I look back at the evolution of 'me', I think the product has improved. Maybe not new, but improved! Great post, good way to get us thinking.

terriporter said...

Kim, rarely are your posts something I read and then move on. I read them and reread them and think about what they mean for quite awhile. You always give us something to ponder. I completely agree with Dotti about looking back and seeing all the changes and growth that has occurred over my lifetime. Your photos are beautiful and a sure sign of spring. Glad to hear the Monarchs are on their way back to you!

HappyDayArt! said...

Yes, even though our growth can't be measured as easily as when we were kids, I do believe that we're constantly developing humans even now as we get older too. I'm fascinated by this topic as well. Where I'm going, I've never been before. If you think about how much courage that takes, how much uncertainty the word "future" holds, maybe we would let ourselves enjoy more of our time left here. That's what's happening in my mind at the moment. Thank you for your piece of the conversation.

Catherine Witherell

CarolHart said...

I ask myself that question every single day!

Cathy said...

Such food for thought. Wonderful post Kim!

Lisa Comperry said...

Wonderful post :-)

Kimberly Vensel said...

That is a great outlook to have! The author of your own book. Seems I have some rewriting to do. :) Thank you for this wonderful post! You are not only a wonderful photographer, you are an excellent writer, Kim.

Liz said...

Wise words Kim! I love your outlook on life. It's inspiring!

kelly said...

a beautiful, thought provoking post kim! I find that most of the time, my life is best understood in rear view. it's then that I can really see how I've grown as a person.

Stephanie said...

My dear Kim, what a beautiful post! It was such a joy to find out you share your talent for writing and photography on this lovely blog.

Thank you, sweet friend, for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

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