This I Believe

Casey - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in transplanting. When I graduated from a tiny studio apartment to a palatial one-bedroom in suburban Ohio I acquired various plants, including a peace lily that couldn’t blossom. Winter came on slowly last year, bringing electric heat from hissing vents. Barren and slack like the lily, I couldn’t write, cook or dance; the snow fell thick and fast, burying my creative energy. Spring thaw awoke me to the dire situation in my home. According to the owner of the local garden center, my lily was dying and needed repotting and fertilizing if it was to survive at all, let alone thrive. She advised: “go home and saturate your plant with diluted fertilizer and make sure it can drain. You need to feed it before you move it.” I paid for the Miracle-Gro and sat in my old Honda, contemplating what would feed me.

Though born and raised in the Midwest, I feel alive in the Pacific Northwest where I lived after college. The culture is one of acceptance; farmers and punk rockers coexist. In Oregon when I wore huge blue sunglasses and fairy wings to grocery shop, I got high fives. In Ohio when I dressed entirely in hot pink on my 25th birthday, I got looks. Many people have asked me why I moved back if I felt so comfortable out west. I just now understand my need to embrace my inner authority while redefining home.

My peace lily and I struggled through this past winter, both needing a change of container as well as nourishment. This spring I am honoring my desire to transplant by moving to big sky country where I have the space I need to grow wild woman roots. Where funky culture fertilizes my funky spirit. Where winters are gentle. This I believe because of my once choked peace lily, now happily regenerating in more suitable conditions.