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.
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.