A few weeks ago, I transplanted one of my patio plants called “ZZ” (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) which has been “growing like a weed” and getting totally out of control in size and shape. As I researched how to separate and transplant it into 2 pots, I discovered that according to the online “care instructions” my plant should not have thrived like it did. The first thing I did wrong is to water my plants weekly and much to my surprise, according to the instructions, it should only be watered once a month. Secondly, my patio faces the south therefore it has direct sunlight every day of the year with very little shade. Apparently that is not the correct environment for growing this type of plant either. Maybe if I had followed the proper instructions, I would not have had to transplant the darn thing. Be that as it may, it certainly was a bugger to separate into two because of the extensive root system. After a lot of grunting, pulling and threatening to cut it with a knife, I managed to get it separated into two plants and then potted with fresh soil. After giving them a good shot of water, the waiting begins to see how they will react to the transplant trauma of being separated and transplanted.
What I have come to realize that most of us may experience a much different sort of transplant trauma that might not be a dramatic as a medical surgery however there are times in life when we are required to adapt or reassess new life circumstances. I would have to say these events could also be known as transplant traumas as well. I have experienced the pain of a broken relationship that has ripped apart my family, my home and even some long-time friendships. The time of acceptance and transition was very painful. Another more permanent trauma is the death of a spouse, parent or child. It can be devastating to lose someone that is very close to you. A less expected or dramatic transplant trauma might be starting a new job or even working with new leadership, which may require adapting to a new work environment. It is natural to feel disoriented and unsettled about new expectations that can challenge you to adapt to new ideas and purpose. My plants had to find a way to adapt to living separately from the “mother plant” and thrive even though their roots and common connections have been pulled apart. It can be the same with loss of a loved one, broken relationships or even job changes. Often times it can feel like life is being ripped apart with no clear understanding of how to maneuver into the future but eventually it one will have to find a way to thrive and adapt.
There are a number of ways to help get us through life’s traumatic events. Organ transplants recipients need care from medical staff, deaths of either a loved one or a relationship may require counseling or support groups, and a job change transition may be more successful working with a mentor to help adapt to new leadership. As I have experienced some of these transplant traumas, I have sought people to help me along the journey while keeping in mind the promise of Isaiah; “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isa. 43:2). The text does not replace any of the other help that may be necessary to be successful, however it keeps me focused on my faith and belief that I am not alone in the difficult times. While my plants have recovered from their transplant, they would not be healthy without my constant care. The same rules apply to our lives. We will successfully adapt with time, patience and a willingness to find the support we need to help us through unexpected transplant traumas.