One of the things I've found interesting as I've worked on this Collection is the number of plants that I collected in 1968 that I question in 2017. Of course, in 1968 I was probably only interested in how easy a plant was to collect, not how desirable it was, and privet was a common landscape plant. Today I think of privet as an invasive pest crowding out native vegetation. Perhaps others share that attitude, or perhaps it suffered from insects or disease, or perhaps it was a fad whose time came and went. It does appear to have lost favor with a lot of folks compared to 1968 - I found it growing in only one yard in Windom when searching for a specimen. My search was not scientifically exhaustive, but clearly privet popularity has faded.
My changing attitude about privet could be seen as a metaphor for growing up, growing more insightful, developing a more questioning nature. For growing into yourself. For learning to see, interpret, and make judgments about more complex matters and more ambiguous situations. For all the innocence we lose as we gain in experience and, hopefully, wisdom. I find it fascinating that I can still be that young girl, and at the same time, someone she could not have envisioned. I move comfortably and confidently though the world today, at peace with my successes and failures, with faith to face the successes and failures yet to come. That young girl would leave home in a few short years, having never had a telephone in the house and afraid to use one. She could not have imagined me and I have to work hard to truly remember her.