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Resident Spotlight - Edith Austin
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on June 24th, 2014

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Resident Spotlight - Edith Austin

Stories and Spotlights

edith-austin-poemThis poem was uncovered by Sue Alexander, Secretary of the United Methodist Church of Clinton, CT, while cleaning out her office and sorting through papers. It was sent to Reverend Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for UMH, and he was anxious to share it with us this week.

The poem, entitled, “Transplanting,” was written in 1973 by the late Edith Austin, a resident of the West Haven Home who later moved to our Wesley Village campus in Shelton when the West Haven Home closed. (For more information, visit our UMH History page: http://www.umh.org/umh-history ) It was printed in one of Reverend Ralph Lord Roy’s (UMC Minister who served CT) newsletters and is worthy of a place here on our blog. In the poem, Edith reflects on her experience of moving to Shelton and beautifully describes her thoughts. 

How relevant it is for our residents still today, who have recently made a move from their home to an assisted living community. As a mission-based organization committed to providing services that support the health, independence, and dignity of our residents, it is our constant goal to be “a gracious haven” where our residents “have found a home”. Enjoy Edith’s words…. (read left column, then right)

TRANSPLANTING, by Edith Austin

The spade relentless cuts                                                             Burning western sun,
Roots grown long in friendly soil,                                                   Paints the sky with gorgeous hues
Plantings must be moved –                                                          As it sinks to rest.

Dug with ball of earth,                                                                 Saucy mockingbird,
Burlap-wrapper ‘gainst wind and sun,                                          Flaunting white-splashed wings, welcome
Rose, you’ll surely live.                                                                Gives to his domain.

Stunned and spent with shock,                                                    High upon the hill
Fellow shrub, can I survive                                                           Built to brave the wind and storm,
Such transplanting rude?                                                             A gracious haven stands. 

Vital roots unharmed,                                                                  Gleaming corridors                           
Dearest treasures gathered close,                                                 Run through its widespread wings,
I, too, will endure.                                                                       Busy traffic lanes.

On the breezy heights                                                                 Down a flight of stairs
Far from the city’s noisy din,                                                        Cheery room equipped for work
Rose is growing now –                                                                In art – Joy, oh joy! 

In this fertile soil,                                                                         In this pleasant place
Sending deep my questing roots,                                                 Where gracious friendly folk do dwell
Rose, I’m joining you.                                                                  I have found a home.

Vistas of green lawn,                                                                  Kind and strong and sure
Strips of woodland undisturbed, hands.                                       Are the Master Gardener’s 
Charm the roving eye.                                                                He transplants in love.


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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.