Monday, August 25, 2008

Essay- Learning to Thin & Prune

I have always loved the tangle of a garden gone wild—no boundaries, no empty spaces, filled with flower, branch and leaf. I have enjoyed throwing out seeds, letting plants grow where they will. They knew best the conditions that allow them to flourish. And I didn’t have to decide. Not surprisingly, my life has been this way too. I go with the flow, allowing circumstances and those around me decide what will happen in my life, grow in my garden.

One way to look at it is that I am very adaptable and appreciative.

Another way to look at it is that I lack will power and vision for my own life. Even my houseplants have had free rein.

But finally urged on by my husband’s fear that my plants would overrun the house, I have learned to cut them back and trim them to the size and shape that I prefer. They continue to flourish under the rulership of my scissors. I’ve even been able to get rid of plants I don’t really want anymore.

Having a vegetable garden this year has given me practice at thinning things out, so that beans and greens will grow to their full potential rather than be stunted by being too crowded. This seems to coincide with a new knowing in me of what I can prune to make room for new growth in my life. I am trimming those gnarled, twisted and barren old branches back, saving the growing ends to sprout into new plants that I might keep or give away as gifts. And I’m thinning out my activities—making choices about what I want to be bigger and more fruitful in the garden of my life.

by Terra

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