When you Gro Something Greater, it adds meaning to your life in ways you sometimes can’t comprehend at the time.
It was over 35 years ago, I was a college freshman, and it was my first winter in upstate New York. I was struggling to adjust, struggling with courses, struggling with the cold winds sweeping across the plains. My father had died while I was in freshman orientation before the start of classes, and I was still struggling to make sense of that too.
So I went to the campus bookstore, but instead of buying a book, I bought a small plant that was there in the window. It looked as forlorn as I felt, sitting under the florescent lights. I walked out the door into what seemed like a full-on blizzard and thought, “Why did I buy a plant that is probably going to die before I can even get it back to my dorm room?” But I tucked it under my coat, and it didn’t die. It brightened my room just enough to get me through the winter. Even back then, my dorm-mates would give me Miracle-Gro advice. “Make sure to feed it! Miracle-Gro really is a miracle!”
At the end of Freshman year, I packed up my things and brough the plant back home for the summer. And then back to school, and back home, again and again, through my four years. It moved with me to Boston after graduation. It came along to three apartments, and then to my new house when I got married. The small plant that had once fit under my coat grew into a tree almost as tall as I am — and it’s older than my kids. And yes, I taught them all the love of things green and the miracle of Miracle-Gro too.
The plant that grew to be a tree has now traveled with me to Manhattan, where it sits on a balcony in Midtown. It probably doesn’t like the smog and the buildings that block the sun any more than that trek through a snowstorm 35 years ago, but it still thrives on Miracle-Gro.
I grew more than that small tree when I bought it that day in the college bookstore. I grew endurance, fortitude, the understanding that caring for something–no matter how seemingly insignificant–could last a lifetime. When you Gro Something Greater, it adds meaning to your life in ways you sometimes can’t comprehend at the time.
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