In the deep recesses of my front garden, I found a few spouts of volunteer roses. They are covered with mildew, yellow and sickly. It’s no wonder they haven’t previously poked their heads above ground in the poor, damp, sunless soil hidden behind my landscaping. No rose could thrive. My plan, once they are a little bigger, is to dig them up and transplant them into the rose garden in my backyard, where the sun shines bright on rich, fecund soil. The volunteers will probably lose their leaves and die. That always happens when I try to move plants to someplace better, the change is too much for them.
The rangy, stunted, forgotten and unloved volunteers in the front yard and their healthy, happy, desired and prolific cousins in the backyard make a noteworthy contrast. Oh, how creating the right environment can make the difference in successful thriving.
I’ve been talking with my shrink about my childhood upbringing – two parents who didn’t want another baby, a father who didn’t nurture or encourage me (and, frankly, intimidated and belittled me) and a mother who was too tired, busy, or downtrodden to offer me the safe harbor and respite I needed from dad’s brutal and unloving parenting.
You know where this is going. Today, I am the volunteer rose, weakly trying to raise my head towards the sun, but suffering from the consequences of being raised in my detrimental environment. Will I always be stunted and emotionally rangy? Is the damage too profound and will any attempt to move me towards a healthier situation cause me to die completely, unable to adjust to the warm sun and fertile soil? Will I always fail to bloom?