Around this time last year, I went to our local nursery and picked up some plants and a couple of large containers to place them in. I bought two different types of peonies, and though they never flowered, I was enthralled with the promise that they one day would.
Then, that damn dog came into our lives and ate my promising plants down to tiny little stubs. I was so disappointed. One moment they were thriving with potential and the next, they were nothing. Or so it seemed.
The plants were in containers, so through the winter I moved them to the side of the house to protect them from the wind and snow. At this point, my only concern was protecting the pottery I had bought.
When the weather started to warm a few weeks ago, I moved the pots back up closer to the back window. In just a few days, I was shocked; new growth?!! I hadn’t watered them or given them any attention in months. I thought they were done for. I thought for sure they would need to be replaced. But here they are, thriving again.
Last weekend I sat at my kitchen table and admired the resiliency of these plants and I couldn’t help but come up with an allegory for mothers who decide to step away from work for a while.
Peonies are the best perennials and so are we.
One of my biggest fears when I left my job was that I wouldn’t be able to come back at the same level I left on. One moment I was a vice president, thriving with potential and the next, a tired mom with no real accolades to speak of. Or so it seemed.
While there are many factors at play there, the truth is, I will always have the skills, intelligence, experience, and drive to succeed. Those things don’t just go away.
I’ve got that old song by the Byrds stuck in my head…
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
Sure, those skills may become dusty over time and will need some fresh water and sunlight. But the ability to grow is inherent, so long as we stick around.