Brown Paper Bag Kind Of Friends...

Have you ever had the kind of friends that made you want to show up with a brown paper bag over your head? Not that your friends did, but your feelings of not being enough did? No?  That is good.  Me, well, not so.  On the journey of self-discovery and learning to focus more on my faith and less on my face, I have learned that hiding under a brown paper bag is not what being a friend is all about.

A few Thursdays ago, I met with most of my tribe at the local park. We sat around and did what we love to do best. We shared deeply from our souls, we talked and laughed and even shed a few tears.  When all was said and done, we walked to our cars to say our goodbyes.  One member from the tribe surprised us with a grocery bag full of strawberry plants.

They were separate, about six of them sitting on a plastic tray in a brown grocery bag. I placed them in the back of my car, gave my hugs as we said our goodbyes and headed home. For two days, the plants were left, forgotten in the back of my car. No water, little oxygen and very little sunlight through my darkened windows. By the time, I realized I had forgotten them, I thought for sure they would be dead.

I popped open the back of my car, grabbed the brown bag and looked deep down into the paper holding them in place, and low and behold they were still alive. I quickly pulled them out of the bag, knowing their life was dependent on me and took them straight to my back yard.  I ripped the bag open as fast as I could as if I was about to give them C.P. R.

I gently lifted the flat plastic container that was holding them together up and out and placed them in my garden. I looked in amazement at what I saw.  A few shriveled up buds and dried up soil but the plants were still plump and green.  The most amazing part was the way they appeared to have huddled all together as if to give and get energy from one another. They looked like they were holding on tightly to one another for hope of being found. 

I stared at the plants holding each other and it made me think of my tribe, those who I huddle together with who help me when my soil is dry and my water is low, when I can barely breath and there is no sunlight in site. I looked at those plants and I was reminded of how important my survival is dependent on my interdependence of my tribe.

I grabbed some water and fed the beautiful green strawberry plants that were depending on me to help them grow and as I drenched their dry soil, I found myself filled with gratitude for those who have helped me out of my brown bag.   I am thankful for the ones who love me enough to let me be me.  Grateful for the fact that when we come together even in our dry times we can add life and energy to survive,  just like the strawberry plants huddled together waiting to be cared for.

I believe we were created to connect in the same way as the strawberries did in the brown paper bag.  Thank you God for strawberry plants and friends who love deeply and live authentically.  I will never look at another strawberry plant or brown paper bag the same way again.

Thank you for letting me share!