Change: onward and upward

In our gardens and landscapes, we witness how plants grow and change year after year

In our gardens and landscapes, we witness how plants grow and change year after year. Their growth and production behaviour is impacted by the weather, the soil conditions, the ecosystem in which they are established, and the overall health of the plant. Regardless, the spruce tree is still a spruce and the rose bush is still a rose. Whether it’s nature or human nature, the element of change is always in the air. This brought me to ponder about how people change. Have you seen someone recently who you haven’t seen in many years? Perhaps it was at a family or school reunion. Were those people quite different than how you remember them? Some of them may have surprised you with the amount of change they have gone through, personally and professionally. Perhaps it is you who has gone through your own changes. It begs the question then: do people really change at their core? Like our plant friends, we can change and adapt our outer appearances. Our attitudes and beliefs are often impacted by the world around us, and our health can fluctuate from year to year. So, when we are at our best or our worst, did we really change who we are or did our choices simply change to get us there? I am of the opinion that we are each uniquely rooted, just like the spruce and the rose. In short, people are who they are, and it’s our choices and perceptions along with the passage of time that brings observable shifts to our appearance, skills, habits, beliefs and attitudes.

Have you seen those pictures with a bicycle placed in the notch of a tree? The tree didn’t give up being a tree; it simply grew through and around the bicycle, continuing by its nature to grow, onward and upward. For us, change can be viewed as an obstacle, or it can be viewed as an opportunity. The tree is still the tree and the bicycle is still the bicycle. Change can enhance who we are on this planet, or not. Now may be a good time to embrace change and choose the changes that nurture who you really are. Changes are choices and choices are change, but at your root, you will always be you.

Elizabeth Shopland is a horticulturist for Homefront Essentials Gardening, a Certified Solution Focused Coach, author and speaker, and the owner of Banyan Tree Solutions. She can be reached at 250-342-8978 or