repotted and it feels so good

| January 3, 2015

On the last day of 2014, I repotted our peace lily. Its leaves had been turning brown, one by one, despite my careful placement (indirect sunlight, the websites said) and watering (not too much). I finally decided that the plant was too big for its pot.


Indeed, the roots seemed to sigh with relief as I shook them out over the new container. It felt good to pat down the soil, to muddy my hands on a cold winter morning. This plant is like me, I thought. Repotting can make all the difference.

fingers in the dirt

It’s been hard to blog since we returned to Massachusetts in mid-July. It’s been hard because the soil of our life here is deep: it takes time for roots to unfurl and spread themselves.

It’s been hard because blogging about happiness can feel shallow or show-offish.

But mostly it’s been hard because I feel overwhelmed by my own gratitude. The new lives that landed in our laps suit us so beautifully that I want to exclaim over every detail.

I get to ride my bike to the train station, then watch the sunrise on the ride to school.

beauty on the train


David gets to play video games with his best friend Mychal. In person.

David & Mychal play

We both love our jobs. How many couples can say that? How fortunate are we?


And that’s only the merest morsel. My gratitude is like our dessert shelf after Christmas: it could send you into sugar shock. (The fact that we have enough kitchen cabinet space for a dessert shelf is yet another marvel of our new life.)

dessert shelf

How many times have I wanted to pour it all into a heartfelt litany of a blog entry? As George Herbert wrote nearly 400 years ago, “But who hath praise enough?” I feel weary just thinking about it.

So I offer a single piece of chocolate from the shelf today. I don’t know why I’ve felt compelled to put out the whole spread, except that feeling overwhelmed is a long-standing habit.

I repotted the peace lily. A new year began. I decided to write just a little. I’m grateful.

writing a little

Category: beauty, friends, journey, remaining calm, the seasons

About the Author ()

Hannah Lynn Mell grew up a missionary kid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Now she lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts with her exquisitely kind husband David, their plucky three-legged cat Thomas, and a needy-yet-lovable dachshund named Birdie. She's worked with singers since 1998 and loves to help people of all ages free their voices. She's currently earning a Master of Social Work degree with the hope of using creative, expressive modalities in clinical settings.

Comments (6)

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  1. Ally Freed says:

    I just discovered your blog, Hannah! I’m loving it! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. Liv says:

    There’s not one thing shallow about happiness. Not one! Oh, I suppose… unless you’re an obsessive anti-semantic who likes to hear themselves debate joy v. happiness and bladeeblahblah…

  3. Catherine says:

    I can relate to this so well. I found writing easy when I was in a tumultuous place. And even though I sometimes find myself back there, right now it’s only a day here, a day there, and overall, my joy and gratitude seem hard to write. You’ve done a good job, a morsel at a time 🙂