By Lindsay Mensch
If RISE were a garden, I would be a single flower.
It’s a system that functions as a whole; when you look from a distance, the mix of reds and yellows and purples and greens create a mosaic of parts that fit smoothly together. Together, the flowers make an image of nature nourished by the human hand.
One of these flowers is me.
In my room, I have a sunflower. Despite the imminent cold of approaching winter, and the minimal light that reaches through my window, it grows. It blooms in spite of its circumstances, which stand against it. Sometimes I forget to water it, and sometimes, to compensate, it gets too much. Still, it lives, and thrives, and blooms.
I’d like to think this flower is me.
There are other flowers too, that stand alone like my sunflower. The borage, violas, and geraniums grow in their own circumstances, each standing strong despite the struggle of living. They bloom too.
And beneath it all – beneath the mismatched components on the surface of this garden – are the roots. They go deep and intertwine, tangled in complexity, and searching for meaning in the rich soil. The roots are the foundation of what we do, and without them, the garden could not exist. These roots are what connect each and every flower in RISE.