According to my origin story, a red rose bloomed on the day that I was born. My dad had noticed the bud on the rosebush in front of their Southern California house shortly after my December 25 due date had come and gone. As the calendar rolled into January—a new month, a new year—I can imagine the anticipation my mom and dad must have felt about my impending arrival. My dad says he was keeping an eye on that rosebud too.
I made my debut in the early morning of January 10, 1975. Once my mom and I were settled, my dad went back to the house to shower and change. When he pulled into the driveway, the first thing he noticed was the bright pop of red on the otherwise barren bush. Etched in my memory is a photograph of my mom in her hospital gown, holding me, a red rose perched in a makeshift vase on the table beside the hospital bed. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about this story and, for the first time wondered, Who planted the rosebush? They are such an integral part of the story, yet how could they know how significant they are? My musings brought to mind this poem my friend Phillip Estes sent me on my birthday several years ago, which I'm sharing with his permission…
One More Seed by Phillip Estes If this world ever falls apart, I hope that you'll be by my side, My friend. So when we look up together And that blinding light flashes, When we know there’s but seconds Till we all turn to ashes, I know I can count on you to smile, And we will both plant One more seed.
Inspired by the mystery rosebush planter and Phillip’s poem, I’m focusing this year on planting seeds for a future beyond which I might experience. I invite you to join me, both in planting trees and in sowing seeds of kindness, generosity of spirit, community, and connection—in whatever form that looks like for you in your life.
Whatever this year brings, may our open hearts and generous spirits guide the way. With love, Jennifer
p.s. - If you'd like to join me in planting 4,700 trees in celebration of my 47th birthday, you can visit my link at One Tree Planted.
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