The woman who previously lived on the farm was really into gardening. She had the veggie garden, the berry garden, the “quick pick” garden (herbs and veggies planted near the house so they could be easily picked for cooking), the flower gardens and many trees pruned to perfection. The outdoor spaces were beautiful and wonderfully maintained.
These days, I am lucky if I can get the mower started once a week, weeds have overtaken nearly every garden space, I accidentally killed off a whole patch of raspberry bushes, and the main garden is in shambles.
From a positive standpoint, I (along with some help from Zoe) have worked on pruning the trees these last few days and I love it. With the whole laundry list of things to do (including, ironically, the laundry), I sometimes forget that some of the things that “need” to be done are actually very relaxing and meditative. Pruning is one of them.
There is something about cleaning up a scraggly looking bush or tree and making it look nice and neat that makes my day. It is, really, just a metaphor for what I’d like to do with my life.
You know those things or tasks that started off small but have grown into ungainly branches that rub onto other areas of life? Cut them out.
Those To Do List items that seemed important at one point but are now obstacles getting in the way of the main branches? So long.
Then there are those things that were once enjoyable but now have turned into obligations that no longer really serve the goals of our family. It might be time to get out the big pruners and get rid of those items so the light and fresh air can reach into the real core of my life.
Sometimes it even becomes necessary to prune out people from our lives. Nothing personal. Sometimes relationships are meant only to last a season in one’s life. By pushing them beyond that, they can become unhealthy for everyone involved. Pruning them out (gently, please), can be just what you and they need to get the nutrients to the parts of life that really need it.
For the record, I steadfastly refuse to prune you out of my life. Now the mules….OK, I’ll even keep the mules. What else would I write about?
The sun is shining. I’ll have a few free hours later this afternoon, so maybe I’ll spend some time in the trees again. Maybe you should, too – the real ones in your yard, or the tree of your life. I’ll grab the pruning shears for you.