I’ve been pruning.
This is unusual for me – because of what my mother-in-law delicately calls compassion. I like trees. I love the shapes of leaves. It feels wrong to go chopping all the plants to bits, just because the laws of Landscaping demand that everything should fit into a neat, geometrically shaped box. I would rather let things grow wild.
Only all these plants have over-taken our patio. They make the backdoor hard to use.
And it’s a metaphor for life.
We accumulate all these branches and tendrils as we grow. We are always trying new directions, attempting different things. We grow into the open areas, wherever there is space. And the branches are pretty, arching delicately with perfect little leaves that glow in the sunlight.
But sometimes all those branches choke out where we want to go. You can’t move around anymore.
It’s like a giant headdress of old dreams, of someone else’s expectations. It makes it impossible to see where you are going.
So it is good for your life to cut off the branches sometimes. It lets your focus your energy on where you actually want to go. It makes you nimble. Free.
The nice thing about trees is that they always grow towards the light – up, down, sideways, there is no such thing as the wrong direction. And the branches will grow back.
But there are also times to go through and snip away all your old expectations, dead dreams, desperate back up plans. There is nothing wrong with them. They are beautiful.
But pruning’s not good because what you cut away is bad.
Pruning is good because it gives you room to breathe. To see. To run around in circles laughing.