published in Achieving Your Dreams, Change, Courage, Fear, Freedom, Inspiration, Synchronicity by Maryanne | July 21, 2010


And Then The Day Came…


Updated August 2, 2015

“And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

– Anais Nin

This quote by Anais Nin is one of my all-time favourites and I had a pretty little framed version of it in my Calgary living room for years.

I hadn’t always lived in Calgary. My husband John and I had lived in British Columbia for four years while he was going to University. We’d moved back to Calgary in 1996 when he got hired by the Calgary Police Service.

I remember the day John got the call telling him he’d been hired. He literally fell on the floor and rolled around on his back, kicking his legs in the air and hooting and hollering. His dream had come true.

As for me, as happy as I was for him, I had significant reservations about moving back to our hometown…partly because John and I were both very happy in BC – so why mess with that? – and partly because of the sheer magnitude of the support system we both had in Calgary.

How could I continue to grow as a person surrounded by so much familiarity?

This attitude became a self-fulfilling prophecy and, in many ways, I spent the next four years curling up tighter and tighter in my safe little bud of dreaming dreams but not significantly working towards achieving them.

Then, when John died on the job in 2000, that same system of support that I perceived to be holding me back was immediately transformed into the very life support system that sustained me through my darkest days, months and years.

Shortly after John’s death, a close friend gave me a card with this quote on it:

“Bloom where you are planted”

– Mary Engelbert

And bloom I did for the next nine years. But then the day came in the fall of 2009 when I realized I had outgrown my pot – but not because it wasn’t big enough. In fact, at 2800 square feet, my Calgary pot/home was too big for me!

One of my favourite writers, Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy wrote, “Did you know that plants need to be repotted at least every two years? Even if the roots don’t need more room to grow, the old soil should be replaced because all the nutrients have been consumed. We, too, need to consider repotting for growth.”

I knew what I needed: a smaller pot with new soil – and plenty of water nearby.

When John and I had left Abbotsford back in 1996, our plan had been for us to return to BC – probably Victoria – when he retired in twenty five years. For my dream was to be a writer by the sea. John’s death got me going on the writing part. So then, nearly ten years later, why was I still living on the prairies?

“There once was a baby circus elephant who couldn’t break free from her leg chain, though she tried and tried. Eventually she gave up. Years later, she still had that little chain around her leg. Although she was strong enough to break free, she had long since accepted that she could not. Emotional chains, after all, are the hardest to break.”

From Open Your Mind, Open Your Life by Taro Gold

Ouch. I sold my Calgary home, packed up my belongings and moved to Vancouver Island in the spring of 2010. Two weeks later, I bought a cute little home in Sidney…five blocks from the sea.

And how did I know I was on the right track?

Well, for starters, this is what I found on the side of the garden shed in my new backyard:

I dare say I found my new pot

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening. Maryanne also writes play scripts, screenplays and short stories. She is the founder and CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc and the Board Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. She lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.


  1. Linda Mcnulty on July 21st, 2010 at 9:56 pm:

    Absolutely fabulous, thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Susie on March 24th, 2012 at 3:03 pm:

    Oh Maryanne! How beautiful! As I considering finding a new pot myself, this brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  3. Kathleen on April 3rd, 2012 at 9:21 am:

    Love it. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Colleen Lyons on April 8th, 2012 at 11:56 pm:

    I never knew that quote was on your shed in Sidney? How serendipitous! As I move to my own new pot next week, I’ll think about your experience and smile as I put down my own roots again. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Andrea on April 25th, 2012 at 2:44 pm:

    That is SO cool, Maryanne….Good manifesting!

  6. Shan on April 25th, 2012 at 7:06 pm:

    This is one of my favourites! Quite evidently, the Universe really does conspire with us if we put it ‘out’ there.

  7. Trisha on April 25th, 2012 at 7:39 pm:

    That’s so awesome! I always thought that you wrote that quote on your garden shed, but it’s just so perfect that it was already there! Keep living the dream!

  8. Cristy on April 25th, 2012 at 9:30 pm:

    Love it, love it, love it Maryanne.
    Following your heart is an inspiration for me – Thank you!

  9. Maryanne on May 2nd, 2012 at 4:40 pm:

    This just in from Linda M:

    Thank you, Maryanne…beautiful and thoughtful…as always!

  10. Wendy H on September 9th, 2015 at 9:39 am:

    Thank you for reposting M.A. It is such a good reminder. I love that your welcome sign on the side of your shed put “all” into perspective.

  11. Joyce van Dijk-George on October 20th, 2015 at 7:49 pm:

    So great Maryanne. I have never found a new pot. I have changed some things like marriage, bought a house in wildwood and had 2 girls. Now I am telling them to live on your own, and live. Lol But my life is pretty good, can’t complain. I would love to visit with you oneday and see you on the island. Take care.

  12. Maryanne on October 23rd, 2015 at 2:58 pm:

    Come for a visit, Joyce…it’s a lovely spot 🙂
    Take care and have a great weekend!

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