Grow where you are planted

When I first arrived in Nome, Sarah gave me a warm welcome gift

It was small and new, and she said she had just taken a shoot from a plant (that a friend gave her when she first arrived), and potted it for me. She said she didn’t know if it would survive.

I felt that this plantling kind of represented me, and I thought that if it could survive here, so could I. So I watered it, set it in the sunshine and watched it grow. It took a little while to take roots, but it did.

Then in the depths of winter, it almost died. It’s long, spindly stems stretched out toward the window, searching for light, it’s leaves became pale, almost transparent; most of it died.

I was so afraid it was going to die, because I was struggling, and I had already seen a few people get burned out or not make it here. What if I couldn’t make it? What if I couldn’t hold on? Because the truth is, at the end of the day, “we are not as strong as we think we are.” (one of my favorite Rich Mullins songs) 

Then the days began rapidly growing longer, and the sun showed her beautiful face more, and this little plant flourished in light and beauty and music and love. Now it’s stronger and heartier and I’m sure it will survive. And if it can, so can I!


We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens, so few inches apart
We must be awfully small and not as strong as we think we are.
~Rich Mullins

7 thoughts on “Grow where you are planted

  1. Beautiful. Thank you. I’m feeling awfully weak and sad about moving back. Weird… Never felt so sad about leaving family. Looking forward to seeing you! :)

    • Thanks, Renee. Awwwww my heart aches for you to leave your family, especially after losing your dear sweet Dad. :'( I’m soooo looking forward to seeing you! Maybe you can convince your family to move to this other corner of the world. 😉 When and where are you coming back to in Alaska? Lots of hugs and love and grace and peace to you! May your last days be full of blessings! xoxoxo

  2. Love the plant idea! I feel new employee to NSHC should receive one to keep them going and the story can be shared to keep them strong! People who sign on fulltime need to know how much they are appreciated! Hugs as always!

    • Yes Catherine! I agree! Maybe I should start doing that with my plant shootlings (or whatever new shoots are called). :) It is true–I was just talking with a friend about how much more you feel needed and appreciated here… I need and appreciate people more here in bush Alaska, and there is something so real and human about that! :)

  3. Pingback: One Alaskan Trip Around the Sun

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