Would you ever consider a spiritual awakening journey?
Unplanned, I decided to pursue my spirituality. In a bid for accountability on the journey, I joined a group of like-minded people also looking to enhance their spirituality. A trip outside the city during one of the weekends was planned, the destination was a mystery, the only thing we knew was the dates of departure. Friday came, we got into cars and blindfolded until we were out of the city limits so that we wouldn’t be able to guess where we were going, not that we didn’t try…all our guesses were incorrect. No-one was thinking of the little town we wound up in.
I was excited at the prospect of spending the weekend out of the city. I was on the road, driving in a direction I had never travelled to get to an unknown location, unsure of what to expect. We arrived in the evening and the first place we headed was a cosy restaurant to have supper, it was dark by then and there wasn’t anything much to see. The next day when we were out on the streets of Langebaan, I thought that it had to be one of the hottest towns this side of the Cape province, it was dry despite it being a coastal town, there was sand everywhere, the vegetation we did see were shrubs, trees were not a common occurrence. I wondered how anything survived in that environment.
The hidden nursery:
These words had been playing on my mind: “Bloom where you are planted”. I had embarked on this spiritual journey because I was feeling lost and not anchored in Cape Town. The city was isolating and not an easy place to settle into from scratch. I had been thinking of moving to a different, more welcoming city for a while, but without the resources, I was stuck. I hated where I was and the words that started ringing in my mind was that I had to learn how to bloom where I was planted. I didn’t know what that meant and I didn’t try to unpack it in the midst of being angry and frustrated with life. I finally had a break regarding this phrase when I was exploring a mall in Langebaan.
It wasn’t a big mall, I had walked from one end to the other and nothing had particularly caught my attention, I was looking for something and I hadn’t found it, I knew I would know when I saw it. I was walking out an alternative entrance and that’s when I saw it… a nursery nestled right outside the entrance. The words bloom where you are planted resounded loud and clear. I walked through an arched gateway, down a narrow path with various plants guiding the way. Langebaan is a hot little town, where on first impression one can be forgiven to think that nothing can grow and thrive in such heat. Succulents, however, thrived in this town and the wide variety of them in the nursery confirmed this. The soil is sandy, the temperatures are high despite being close to the coastline, rainfall is sporadic, yet these plants were thriving right where they were planted. I had found the meaning of the phrase that had been ringing in my mind. Everything that was happening in my life flashed through my mind: financial restraints, permit issues with the authorities, fragile mental well-being, having no social network, being unable to reach out asking for help and how I was on a tipping point; despite all this, I still had the potential to bloom and thrive I needed to believe that.
In that moment of reflection, I had found what I was looking for. It wasn’t an instant change, but the moment is still embedded in my mind. I bought two succulent plants to take home with me. They serve as a reminder to me that I too can thrive and grow despite how dire my situation is. I am still alive even if I’m not yet thriving; I am on the road to recovery from the hurt, frustration, anger, trauma; I am in touch with my spirituality.