What would happen if you tried to transplant a tomato with no roots?
Part I: Decision
The first is making a decision. Decisions are usually more cognitive in nature, and they do not seem to cost as much emotional energy. There may be hiccoughs, ups and downs, but there comes a point when that decision becomes firm, i.e. when you have firmly resolved something, and when it becomes hard, i.e. when you buy the non-refundable plane tickets. That starts the second step, this is when preparation happens.
Part II: Preparation
Preparation is perhaps more emotionally challenging. What you have decided to do hasn’t yet come to pass, but there is a ton to do before you can move. This is where you have to emotionally process the “goodbyes.” The best is to say goodbye early and often, taking stock of every moment and enjoying it.
The strangest part about this time, however, is that you will tend to become much more emotional. You will experience parts of your past with incredible clarity and sentimentality. You will become increasingly more vulnerable and things that you used to not care much about suddenly become drastically important. It’s a weird time, because nothing concrete has happened, but you have to challenge your subconscious to behave. the most important thing to maintain is hope, hope that the future will be better than the present or the past. Hope that you will find exactly what you need when you need it. Without that hope, the time of preparation can become incredible claustrophobic.
Another cure for this preparation claustrophobia is to be truly present. Take deep breaths and focus on the sensations of all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures you encounter. Add to that the more important things, such as the relationships with friends. for our time in Spain we are taking stock of the friends we have made here, the lifestyle, the ease of life without a car, the phenomenal care and love we have been given by so many during our time here. We have allowed our roots to grow deep, to allow our skills to develop, so much so that we almost begin to think of Spain as home.
Part III: Transplanting.
This is where all the preparation and all the decision comes to fore. It is also one of the most difficult parts because none of your memories are present to you, neither is anything from your most recent past. Here we return to the question of the tomato. Transplanting is a shock, and it requires lots of care and attention. If the tomato had feelings, I’m sure it would be quite frustrated about getting moved around. It is a long, hard process before the tomato is finally stable, but with enough time, it begins to feel itself right again.
But what would happen if the tomato hadn’t had enough time to grow roots? It would wither. It would not have the resources it needs to start seeking out it’s new root system and find a lot of what it needs quickly enough to survive. It would have less of a chance to thrive and be alive on account of competition from other plants.
We don’t need to be in a hurry to put down permanent roots, because our roots will grow again. Roots grow naturally no matter where we are. Any transition requires a lot of work and emotional energy, and it will not feel great for a long time. But as time passes, it will flourish and begin to produce some of the very best fruit it has ever produced.