During orientation season, I watch as students are literally separated from their families. Some meet this fate with resistance, others are excited to break out on their own. I love the passage below, a gardening metaphor that demonstrates separation and growth. This change can be tricky and painful, but most often leads to something greater. How are you helping your students to put down roots of their own?
We planted seeds in late winter and incubated them in a small indoor greenhouse. We watched the cucumber and tomato plants sprout. We carefully planted them in larger containers and have nurtured and watered these plants daily. It’s come time to separate a few of the small plants and once again place them into larger pots. We’ve hesitated for a few days now because we know, in a few instances, that the roots have become intertwined. We know that pulling the plants away from one another could be damaging. Roots are the foundation and source of nourishment, and they run deep. But unless they move into pots of their own, they will never be strong enough to bear fruit. We will take our time in doing this. We will be careful.
What nature has so beautifully reminded us of is that new growth requires separation. [unexpected source credit]