Published: October 8th, 2014
Michael Pierre Marks was born in Atlanta, Georgia where he attended both high school and college. He received his BA degree in communications from Georgia State University where his concentration was in film and video. Immediately after graduating, Michael worked as a paid intern on the Warner Bros. studio feature film, "Rosewood", led by the noted director, John Singleton.
After the production of Rosewood, Michael moved to southern California to pursue his movie production dreams. He has made a few independent films and written extensively in various genres. He is a published author with both articles and essays being highlights of his career. A resident for 17 years , southern California is the place he has made his home now.
Blossom Where You are Planted
A tiny seed planted in the earth slowly grows up from underneath, breaking topsoil and reveals itself as a large tree with roots and branches and flowers that also bears fruit. The roots are the foundation. Roots anchor the tree in the soil, keeping it straight and stable. Also, roots absorb water from the earth. Furthermore, roots take nutrients and chemicals out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree’s growth, development, and repair. Roots have been recorded to descend into the ground as far as 64 feet, and can spread out laterally to as much as 40 feet. When one regards these things, there is no wonder why trees are equipped to endure fires, avalanches, hurricanes, monsoons, blizzards, and other magnificent forces of nature. Roots run deep. The foundation is established.
Few humans take the time to think about all of this. In fact, we take it all for granted. Imagine that. A little seed and our very existence depends on it for food and oxygen. If you really consider the evolution of this life form
in all its minute details, it is far beyond human comprehension. Sure, scientists have studied a seed’s life course, but unless a human can live inside the seed and watch every development as it unfolds, his knowledge is severely limited. And just to think that all this happens from a seed that is almost microscopic. The fact that a small seed can grow into large trees that outlive humans for several hundred years is nothing short of incredible. Trees do not get up and walk to other locations. They endure the awesome wrath of storms that take many forms, yet they blossom right where they are planted. This fact is just as amazing as the seed’s growth cycle. What an awesome world we live in! I’ll bet that with all that humans do know, it’s probably not even one-fourth of our collective acquired knowledge about plant and tree life. If we are lucky, we can live as long as the oldest human on record, which is 122 years. Trees can live up to 5000 years. How dare any mortal human feign the temerity and arrogance to believe that he can know everything there is to know about something that is still a living form 50 centuries after he has vanished from the planet? A seed’s life cycle is just one of many marvelous things about its capacity, so again, I say to you, my
God, what an awesome world we live in!
Life in all its simplicity, complexity, and beauty is very intriguing when one examines the concept of blossoming. The flower blossoms profusely during a period of time in the spring. Other flowers blossom outside of spring; at other junctures. A key indication of a tree in full blossom is when it starts to bear fruit. There are peach, apple, cherry, almond, and plum blossoms -- to name just a few. Blossoms provide pollen to pollinators. Bees, pollinators, initiate this cross pollination which then makes it necessary for trees to reproduce by producing fruit. Some trees blossom while others fail to blossom. Successful fruit production on trees requires pollination, flowering, and fertilization. Failure to blossom and bear fruit is usually due to a lack of light, lack of bee activity, weather, and an absence of an appropriate pollen source. Perhaps one of the most enthralling things about trees that blossom is their distinguishing characteristic: they have a tendency to lose their flower petals during wind blown cascades. This sets them apart from most other trees. If you have ever been so fortunate
enough to see a tree in a full bloom, that is, a full blossom, you know that this is one of the most alluring, strikingly beautiful images, from which its glory the human eye can gaze upon. With such rich, bold colors of flowers sprouting from every branch of the tree, one quickly comes under an aesthetic hypnosis in which he cannot help but be captivated by what is before him; his thoughts prevailing upon him that he has just experienced his own utopia right here on earth.
Just like the tree that blossoms, but starts out from a tiny seed, a human becomes a full grown adult that, at one time, started off as a tiny seed in the womb of a woman. The seed is fertilized by a man and grows into a baby that is birthed into the world 9 months later. These babies grow up and become adults. And also like plants, some adults blossom while others fail to blossom. So why do some blossom and others fail to blossom? I shall provide what I feel is the most adequate answer for this later. For now, let us move on…
Whether you know it or not, you are a beautiful piece of art – the most vibrant flower just waiting to blossom. If you are not convinced of it, all you have to do is just say it to yourself. Just start thinking it on the inside. Force yourself if you must. In due time, your thoughts and what you speak will catch up and be in perfect synch and you’ll soon embody all that burgeoning growth and juicy luster of the peach blossom. You’ll recall that some of the most beautiful blossoms lose their flower petals during wind blown cascades. Just like those blossoms, some of our best people lose a lot of their petals (enthusiasm for life, joy, happiness, etc.) during the windblown cascades and storms of life. Isn’t it so comforting to know that despite the fact that your petals have been blown to the ground by a formidable tempest, this does not change the reality that you are still a beautiful blossom? If this is the truth, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is most certainly so, why not blossom where you are planted?
If you have had some real tough times in life that have beat you down where all you feel you can do is frown, my message is for you. I can relate because
I’ve been there and I’m still going through it myself. Deep in the middle of all the muck and mire, there’s light if you choose to believe it is there. Right in the depths of despair, you can blossom where you are planted. Did you know that you can be a super star right where you are? Sure, you can. If
you are deep down in the valley with a myriad of problems and struggles, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to take your mind and focus off of your own problems and go out and help someone else. The biggest stars are those men, women, and children who go out and help others in need. The superstars are the ones who do this in the midst of their own very tough trials and tribulations.
The human spirit is more powerful than you can imagine. I’ve been told that “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond imagination.” “Don’t lay awake at night thinking about your worries, thinking about your problems. Keep looking”. “Keep Looking”. The title “Keep Looking” and the lyrics are so appropriate and timeless. A master songstress, Sade will stay with me until the day I take
my last breath. The song has brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion when I was either going through something really challenging or just coming out of it. And let me tell you, I have been in mystifyingly dire straights on more than one occurrence. I love Sade for what she does for my spirit and our collective human condition and consciousness in general. This is what I’m calling on each and everyone of you to do right now, right this minute! Keep looking. You are a beautiful flower right in the soil where you are. So why then don’t you blossom where you are planted?
It can be extremely tough and daunting when you are doing all that you can do to elevate in life, to care for your family, yet things seem to remain stagnant. I know because I’ve been there. You are giving it your all with little results. Frustration mounts and depression even sets in. This would be a good time to find someway of taking the focus off of yourself. Prayer, exercise, and volunteering work for me. Who knows? It just might work for you too. I certainly urge you to find something to do; some type of outlet or extracurricular activity because if you let it, life will bully you until you
break ; push you right to the edge of the cliff where you feel you have no hope and nothing left to give. We have seen what happens to those who lose hope. Too often, hope lost, many of those backed up to the edge of the cliff end up jumping right over it. And now even the prospect of hope is lost forever because hope has no home to live in.
Are you frustrated because you have been overlooked at work for a promotion? Keep a good attitude anyway and you’ll soon have the last say. Blossom where you are planted. No money, no job. Don’t worry. You don’t have to sob. Blossom where you are planted. Is the mortgage or rent due and you have no idea what you’re going to do? Don’t fret, submit and drop down on both knees and talk to Him and He will guide you. Blossom where you are planted. Your mind is on rewind because you have a relative who has just come down with cancer? Meditate on His essence and you’ll find that God is the answer. Blossom where you are planted…
As a man who has had monumental obstacles and challenges of epic
proportions just in the short span of the last 3 years of my life, I can relate to many of you who have troubles. You can rest assured that you are not alone. There are others suffering just as you.
My ex-wife and mother to our 2 kids (5 year old girl and 6 year old boy) walked away from me and the marriage. I had no job or income. In and out of the court so often with custody related issues, a walk down the halls of justice now feel as common as a carefree stride down the aisle of the local grocery store. On top of this, the days turn into weeks, the weeks, turn into months and one interview after another one, but still no employment. My vehicle is not operational and no money to repair it, off it went to a tow yard. To start out with an upward trajectory of things going well in the movie business to life descending like an avalanche is profoundly dispiriting. My thoughts constantly haunt me. God, why am I here? Fighting and being angry I soon found only exacerbated my already horrible situation.
… And then a whisper from God entered through my ears and the words
echoed on the inside of my soul. I can’t tell you verbatim what I heard, but I can tell you what I knew what I had to do, what I was expected to do while deprived of so many things that I saw others around me enjoyed, even took for granted. I just knew I had to be the very best right where I was – blossom right where I was planted. As a result of a change in perspective and attitude, the court visits have decreased substantially, my children continue to thrive and do well in school, and the mother and I continue to have better interactions and operate effectively with all things concerning our children. As individuals in bondage to the American consumerism machine, we cannot wait until we get that new car and the keys to that new house. With this quick fix, instant gratification internet age we’re in, the investment of time into a new marriage is as simple as a few clicks and keystrokes on a dating website. The sickness has to quickly go away and we have to be hired on at that new job in order to feel better. Our emotions wash up and down with the tides of our circumstances. However, like the root, we need a stabling force throughout life, irrespective of what we are going through. I’ve learned that my root is that Almighty essence that’s
omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. This is my stabling force. What is your root? What is your source? If you have a good answer to those questions, you are sure to blossom where you are planted.
With this all to consider and cogitate on, the question still remains. Why do some blossom while others fail to blossom? I’ll submit to you that there are several reasons for this, but the one that is most prominent in my mind is the lack of imagination. Many people’s perspectives on life change when the long arm of adversity wraps them up and they can’t seem to escape life’s harsh grip. We tend to lose our child-like enthusiasm for life and living becomes a drag because of all the problems that loom above our heads. This is because many people endure life and do not truly live it. We tolerate a marriage instead of being active and engaged in it and we work at jobs we hate. For those of us who are not fortunate enough to be employed at all, we can really sink into the doldrums of the abyss.
Imagination is such a wickedly potent tool. Adults are quick to tell children
what they should and should not do, but we can learn so much from them about unbridled imagination and its benefits if we are humble enough to undress all the built up years of prejudice and ego down to its bare nakedness. Observing my children is like an exercise in what it means to be truly free. It’s inspiring to see that the two of them will be upset at each other one moment and upset at me in the next because of some discipline I’ve laid down, but before I can blink, they are laughing, pulling sheets off the bed, placing boxes and various furniture parts together with the precision of the best heart surgeons. And right before my eyes the two of them have constructed their very own house fully equipped with a living room and decorations and the fixings. This is just one reason, among others, why I make it a point to turn off the television for a couple of hours or more each day. They use this time to imagine, to create what they envision. There are infinite possibilities here for mental and sensory development. In these moments I witness their best sharing of things and ideas. I see how they work as a team and communicate, in which the common goal becomes bigger than themselves and more important than empty spats and disagreements
with one another. They are loving in these moments and become more three dimensional humans who care and learn about their emotions. Sitting in front of a television or an X-box or tinkering on an I-pad is not going to help them develop in a way that tech shut off time does. Their minds are not dictated by the images moving across the screen or what they hear coming from it. During this creative time of no television and other electronics, I have seen my 5 year old girl and 6 year old boy come up with something new, creative, and innovative each time. I can’t help but marvel at it all. The interesting thing about the entire scene is that my kids do not even use things from their toy box. They use straws, spoons, bed sheets, pencils, the toilet paper cardboard cylinder, pillows, napkin paper, cups, and just about any other thing you can think of. Now, they no longer want that Barbie doll or that train set, and all the other high tech stuff they saw in the commercials. Their enthusiasm for life is infectious – intoxicatingly so. Kids dream. Kids imagine. I just love it and love watching them. My kids inspire me. Children inspire me. My kids use the things right there before them to create a joyful and happy environment. They blossom right
where they are planted.
If we operated more like children in more situations, I’m totally convinced more adults would have a better quality of life. Sure, you may not have a lot of the things you want in life, but you can grow right where you are until that time comes for you to go to the next level. Now none of what I am saying is meant to diminish any stress or frustration that a lot of people feel about their struggles. I have my very own and intimately understand the crushing effect strife can have on the psyche and spirit. We are human, so say what’s on your mind and allow the negative energy to escape and invite the positive energy inside to flourish. You’ll undergo a nice transformation and feel better about your life before long. Many adults stop imagining and won’t even allow themselves to dream! These things are free. No one has to hire you in order for you to dream. It does not require an A-1 credit score to be approved for envisioning better living conditions for you and your family. A life where you now see yourself as a proud homeowner with a college fund in place for your children is not a fruitless endeavor. No, no!
You don’t have to have the best medical doctors and best health insurance to imagine that there may come a day where you are healed and may not even need the doctors or health insurance. You can even imagine bigger things for yourself like wealth, influence, philanthropy, and the like. I do. I love to imagine waking up in the morning and opening up my sliding doors to a bird’s eye view of the Pacific Ocean in my new Palos Verdes, California home. No matter where your lot in life is now (homelessness, joblessness, broken marriage, in a hospice, foreclosure, illness, etc.), remember that you do not have to have anyone’s permission to dream and imagine being in a place much better than the one you’re currently in right now. That’s right. It doesn’t cost one red penny. So why not allow yourself to dream? Imagination is a powerful tool, and adults should use it more. Blossom right where you are planted…
We are all different and all have gifts and talents that can be used for something. Humans are just as varied as blossoms. You do have a purpose whether you believe it or not. So tell me. What kind of blossom are you?
Could it be that you are the almond blossom? The ancient Phoenicians used almond blossoms with honey as a tonic and sprinkled it into stews and gruel to aid in muscular strength. Perhaps you are the petal of a blossom. It is said that crushed petals were used as a sort of dressing for skin spots. Petals mixed with oil in this form can be used for dry skin and sunburn. The orange blossom could very well be the appropriate description for you. Found in a sedative that acts as an herb that suppresses muscle spasms, the orange blossom helps to remedy depression, insomnia, anxiety, and nervous debility. An upset stomach can also be eased with tea infusion made from orange blossoms, which aids in digestion. Maybe you are more akin to a peach blossom. In 17th century Italy peach blossoms were formed into poultice for bruises, rashes, eczema, grazes, and stings. If you consider having nice tea made from peach blossoms you could significantly reduce kidney ailments and urinary infections and clear your body of toxins. Could your traits be more aligned with that of a plum blossom? In ancient Greek plum blossoms were used to treat bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, and tighten loose teeth? The combination of plum blossoms with sage leaves and
flowers used in plum wine or plum brandy and, voila! You have just made a mouthwash. This soothes a sore throat and mouth illness and sweetens bad breath.
Do you now see that just as the various blossoms, each and every single one of you has some specific purpose and function in life? Perhaps your unemployment serves to push you into your real destiny of owning your own business. Maybe your handicap allows you to go out and address access problems to make it easier for handicap individuals to move more freely about in buildings. The death of your child to gun violence could be the reason why some other kid decides not to pick up a gun. After hearing your story about the sadness you had to endure because of the lost of your own child, he suddenly has a change of mind about going out to do harm to another kid. After nearly drowning myself as a child and having a terrific fear of water, this motivated me to visit the local YMCA where I took classes and learned how to swim. I am now a very good swimmer. Could it be that life is attempting to push you into your destiny and shaping and preparing
you for your big moment by taking you through a rough obstacle course? Did you know that an oyster undergoes lots of stomach irritations in order to produce a pearl? After a 3 year stretch of stress and strain, these sand particle irritants ultimately produce precious pearls. Imagine that. The length of time it takes for these pearls to mature is the main reason why they are so highly valued and expensive. Pearls have real worth. After coming out of your own circumstances of stress and strain, you’ll have real worth too. Allow your set backs and trials to work for you, not against you. It does not matter whether you are handicap or healthy; large or small; black or white, poor or rich; joyful or dejected, the choice to love your life or hate your life is in your hands. To be in tune with what your purpose is all you have to do is listen to that still small voice speaking to you from your very depths and it will be revealed in due time. Now you understand that you don’t have to be consumed with restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, and fear because of your circumstances. As long as you are fortunate to get up and see another day and keep a good attitude, things can and will change. Allow your roots to run deep. Make sure your foundation is solid by making
sure you keep your family, friends and loved ones close. When you can’t think of anywhere to go or turn, just pray. God will give you the most solid foundation than any human or any other thing ever can. Your current situation does not have to be your final destination. Blossom where you are planted.