Cutting Back
On July 29, 2015 | 6 Comments | gardening, writing |
Funny, I used to worry about the blank spaces between these plants!

Funny, I used to worry about the blank spaces between these plants!

When I started gardening five years ago, I wondered how I would learn what I need to know, and how many plants would have to die for my ineptitude. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry. Plants have a way of surviving in spite of me (most of the time), and the garden itself tells me what I need to learn next.

In the past few weeks, the lesson has been prune! prune! prune!

I’m thinking in particular of two plants: wallflower and lavatera. They’re gorgeous, flamboyant, and flagrant in their willingness to hog all the space. In one spot, I have one of each right next to each other, duking it out for survival.

Two titans fighting for survival

Two titans fighting for survival

The Internet, that source of all knowledge, assures me I can cut them back…in the fall. Now, though, I’m at least allowed to remove the spent blooms, so I’ve been doing that, though I manage to snip away at some of the crazy growth as I do so.

I’m not worried about it. I can’t seem to kill these guys.

Indoors, I am pruning as well. We just took a big load of stuff to Goodwill. I’m selling items I no longer need or want. There’s the spinning wheel I bought when I thought I would spend evenings in front of the television, spinning my hair into gold or something like that. There’s the camcorder I bought to film the yoga videos I’ve never made.

I’m “unfollowing” a lot of pages and people on Facebook, and I’ve even unfriended a few people. It’s not personal. I just tend to spend too much time there, and/or I get too upset by what I see. I need to protect my mood in order to write.

Bit by bit, I am confessing to myself that I am not going to accomplish everything in this life I set out to do. It’s time to scale back, to prune away what keeps me from doing what really matters to me: writing books.

“We’re getting older,” a friend of mine tells me. “We just can’t do it all.”

So I cut back. I prune. And, like the wallflower and lavatera, I won’t die from it.

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