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Things that Grow Underground

By Jennie LaFortune

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.28.15 PMIt’s that time of year. Goals are made, diets started, enthusiasms sparked, and there’s not a treadmill in sight available at the gym. And then January 13th hits and it unravels. Or maybe I’m the only one familiar with this pattern, but somehow I doubt it.

I’ve had years where I was serious about my goals. They were typed, put in categories, and really looked after.  I planted things those years. Studied, started new habits, and in short, just really showed up to life for the most part.

Not this last year.  I didn’t have a list of goals, but… I did start noticing themes in my world in 2015.  Looking back, I would say they were small whispers and still movement in a direction.

I fell in love with a short quote sometime last year. It was from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and the line was, “I am rooted, but I flow.” The square piece of paper sat on my nightstand for the better part of the year, and this was the theme I noticed myself centering around. Not numbered lists or miles ran, but just an idea and thought in the form of someone’s words. I found myself thinking of those lines, and rooting them inside. I noticed I did more yoga. I made more effort to think of my life as continual. I had imagery of roots and water in my days at times.

So I started to wonder the last few weeks, what if we choose feelings over tasks in the new year – or what if I choose a quote or idea for the year instead of numbered lists?  Don’t get me wrong, I am a list girl and see the value in goals, but choosing the content instead of a pretty frame (or list of goals) seems to breed something more.

I started seeing words and ideas I was drawn to that lead me to my chosen theme this year: THINGS THAT GROW UNDERGROUND.

My approach this year is being settled and patient.  I don’t want measurements and outcomes, but need to plant for the harvest I’ve used up. And what that will entail and how this will direct my focus, and make my heart change is yet to be known.  But here’s what I do know. The following quotes resonated and the Spirit washed over as I came across the following quotations and talk, and it is as simple and complex as that.

“And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.” -Rumi

“The winter solstice is a time to look at seeds you’ve planted in the previous winter that have come up in the summer.  For this winter solstice, look at those seeds. which ones have you harvested that you want to replant, and which ones do you want to grind up and use as compost?”  -Ana Forrest as told by Sarah Britton here

This talk: For Whatsoever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap” –L.Tom Perry

So here are my 2016 words as I send you on your way to yours. Happy New Year.

About Jennie LaFortune

(Prose Board) is from Salt Lake. Figuring life out one book, beach, road trip, museum, and front porch conversation at a time. Perpetually on the search for the best dark chocolate, finest pen, and greenest field. When she's not teaching high school, she loves to spend time with friends and family, the shore of any ocean, holding her friends' babies, or taking long neighborhood walks.

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