Today's post was inspired by an afternoon of yard work. I noticed that several areas of my property had become severely overgrown. What was once simple, organized, and carefully laid out, had become chaotic and wild. I knew that I had to get out my pruning shears and take back some measure of control. To be sure, this was not easy work. Each individual flower, bush, and tree was flush with vibrant colors and vigorous growth. Each stunning in their own glory. Yet taken as a whole, my landscaping had become an untamed jungle.
It seems to me that our lives can be a lot like my yard and my gardens. We set things up so that they are organized and manageable. However, with our busy rush-rush lifestyles, we seem to be trying to go in so many directions all at the same time. Seemingly without our even noticing how or when or why, our gardens become overrun, tangled, dense, choking. In this condition, health, vitality, and even ascetic beauty all suffer.
In moments like this, pruning is essential. Yet such drastic surgery often involves making hard choices. Pulling out one plant to save another. Scaling back a beautiful rose bush so that the delicate lilies and crocuses can find some healthy soil and some sun. Removing thick tree branches to allow circulation and space for the other plants. Yet although painful choices of what must go are required, this type of pruning will ultimately result in stronger growth and improved overall health for our gardens. We might even have to throw out the good to preserve and cultivate the great.