Recycle and Repurpose

Who would have thought of a beautiful artistic use for kudzu?! For those of you unfamiliar, kudzu is an amazingly fast-growing vine (can grow 12″/day!) that was imported from Japan to south eastern US for soil erosion. Kudzu is considered invasive, and covers miles of Georgia country side, its climbing, coiling, trailing, winding perennial vines swallowing fields, meadows, trees, abandoned houses and telephone poles. Its considered a pest, an obnoxious weed, and is an iconic symbol of the southern landscape scenery.

To my mind, kudzu redeems itself with its cool winding vines which can be manipulated to be woven into all sorts of shapes, baskets, wall hangings and other things artistic. I love the combination of nature’s offering with man’s art, and I just happen to know a wonderful kudzu “artist” who masterfully enhances nature’s kudzu beauty by rewinding the vines into various shapes. My order of custom made kudzu orbs arrived just in time for my last zinnia harvest. The garden had gotten straggly, save for the last bright zinnia blooms arching toward he sun. With the help of recycled kudzu vine, my zinnias also refreshed into brilliant new creations.

As it turns out, the kudzu globes worked perfectly, the ideal support for the flowers. Typically, it is unacceptable for the floral support to be visible. But when the support is an element of nature, then it contributes to the entire design. It is essentially recycling kudzu vines for an artistic purpose and making it a part of the artistic creation.

I think this works in our lives as well. There is so much beauty and function in all we do that can be reused, recycled, repurposed, used again in a different way. This becomes more important in our ever-changing world, to repurpose past experiences for future use. This can apply to our jobs, careers, families, hobbies, goals and dreams.

How many ways can we think of to recycle the elements of our lives? For example, I am rewriting some of my past blogs and articles to create a new book. My friend is recreating her career path to include a past interest in sustainability for her new career. A team I coach is totally revamping their patient experience with revised communication skills. How many of your vines of creativity can you rewind to something new? What past talents, traits, projects, interests and ideas can you repurpose to create something fresh, different and innovative?

Recycle your resources and ideas.
Repurpose your thoughts and experiences.
Build upon your skills.
Leverage your knowledge.

When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.
Erma Bombeck, American humorist, author


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