Definition: Uproot someone from their natural geographical, social, or cultural environment.

A word in popular usage 200 years ago.

George and I spent yesterday morning at the Desert Botanical Garden here in Phoenix. It is the season of wild flowers and cacti beginning to bloom.


On the patio after a leisurely lunch we reflected on our lives and used the word “Uprootings”.

 Sitting shaded by an umbrella, under a bright blue sky, surrounded by desert plants, some imported from other lands, planted in the most suitable of settings, tended carefully and flourishing, we recounted our own uprootings to each other.

Around us the quiet, cultured voices of  other guests,  joined by echoes of explosions and human cries stored in our short term memories, dregs of the daily news,  while we reflected on the pain of being pulled up by the roots and replanted.

Hasn’t this been the story from the beginning?

 Adam and Eve expelled from the garden, 

Abraham called to leave Mesopotamia, 

Moses torn from his family and culture as a baby,

Ruth settled in Israel, far from her people, Moab, the nation of the enemy. 

Peter pulled from his village and craft to travel the world. John ending his days far from home, isolated on Patmos, an island off the coast of Turkey.

And yet, reflecting on each story, what beauty, what lasting value they have left for us in the lives they lived.

There in the garden we are quiet, contemplating the effects of pain and loss on the forming of a person.

As a memory of our talk, learning a new word, “deracination”. we brought home from the Garden shop and repotted, “A String of Pearls”. Let’s see if it will  thrive.