It is cold. While the sun is shining brilliantly on campus today, the temperature is hovering in the teens. The snow makes it kind of pretty, but I’m a summer girl. This Spartan likes the “green” way better than the “white.”
I can’t wait for the first signs of spring when my hosta plants first start poking through the earth. After a long winter’s sleep, they rise early in the spring, grow fast and always make me happy.
In addition to signifying the arrival of spring, they also represent where I grew from and who I am. Years ago, my dad divided the beautiful plants that had lined the driveway of the house I grew up in and gave me and my sisters each a few to plant at our own homes. When I see them now, I always think of him and my mom, who both loved and nurtured these plants and me.
We sold that house after my dad died a few years ago, so it’s even more special that I have a living piece of it where I’m rooted now. I may live someplace else, but as Michigan starts to break out of winter each year, I’m reminded of the beautiful roots I have and the place they first took hold.
Those hostas are decorative and memory-evoking, but there are so many plants that are even more important to feeding, clothing and providing materials to sustain the world. With populations growing, getting the most out of them is crucial. Federica Brandizzi and her colleagues at MSU are working tirelessly to find solutions that will feed the world. Check out the short video in the feature, Making plants more productive, to learn about this incredibly important work.
Just like plants, sometimes we are uprooted from what’s familiar and comfortable. We all experienced this when the pandemic hit. Everyone's “normal” was completely displaced. But our resilience allowed every Spartan to grow, find light in the dark and discover new ways to bloom.
Next week, students and faculty will once again plant themselves on campus when in-person classes resume after having the semester start remotely. It will be nice to see a little more activity around West Circle.
Sometimes, plants are hardy and productive all on their own. But sometimes, creating a hybrid makes them even more fruitful. Such is the case with the partnership between MSU and Henry Ford Health System that is celebrating its first anniversary. I can’t wait to see what medical discoveries come out of this mix.
A mix of many kinds of plants elevates the impact of each individual bloom. On their own, they’re beautiful. Together, they’re stunning. That’s like being Spartans. Each one is unique and can do great things. Together, our power is unstoppable.
Each person, like Caitlin Kaleta, an animal science major and synchronized skater, and Nicolas Prestly, who is studying agricultural education and cultivating his passion for animals and the land, brings individuality to campus and also belongs to something much bigger than themselves.
No matter where your roots are, where you are planted now, or how dark it might seem, remember that you can find light, grow and bloom. And, when you do, be sure to share your beauty with others so they can too. Spartans Will.