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It’s that time of year. Spring is shaking off the quilt of winter, and especially in the south, the signs are everywhere – buds emerging, lightning bugs in the soft evening light, and the droning of lawnmowers, clippers and weeders.
Those who’ve spent the last four months complaining about the cold are at last vindicated with something new to complain about. Already, the local markets are overflowing with customers seeking a quick remedy for weeds, bugs and moles. Add in all the new prescriptions being written for allergy meds, and only a fool would be oblivious to the page turning.
But back to the post. Ahhh, yes. Each year, I am filled with anguish as my forsythia bush is clipped, and my redbud tree trimmed. Various other bushes and trees are not exempt. Only those who have suffered near death are spared the pruning that spring seems to necessitate.
And every year, I express my weariness with the process. It seems wholly unnatural to me, for I cannot recall a single instance of such in my childhood, one spent much closer to the trees, plants and weeds than I am now. Part of my problem is my understanding that all these are extensions of us, connected to us. When given dominion, I’m not sure that meant authorization to change that which seems to work quite well without any assistance.
It also reminds me of society’s innate desire to put everyone in the same box, even if that means lopping off what doesn’t fit, or that which might be less appealing. As if somehow we are more perfect without our flaws. As if a dogwood needed directions to know where to grow a branch or blossom. The truth is that we’re less perfect when we spend untold energy and expense trying to look like everyone else, to be like anyone other than ourselves. Our flaws are what make us uniquely beautiful, our scars but proof that we’ve lived (that we’ve loved).
My favorite tree – the redbud that leans into the driveway, but remembers a place in the woods. My favorite bush – the forsythia that ignores the clipping and seems to double in size overnight – with arms swaying in the morning light, ‘look at me, look at me’.
Pruning seems painful and honestly, a waste of good sunlight. I grew up in a home with two basic rules. If it grows, you let it. And, if shows up on your porch in the middle of the night, you love it.
come these hands
as fertile ground
these eyes –
an eager sun
by a swollen heart
of birch and maple
the pines –
as shelter to the babies
wherein the blue spruce glows
beneath the night’s
– blossom sleeps
beside the tender blade
morning wakes in colors
a poet cannot tell
where breath became
of heaven here
. . .
Beautiful. I share your feelings, and observations! We also have in common the love of red buds and forsythia 🙂 They are my favorites too. Delicate and gorgeous. I used to hide under a forsythia bush when I was a child. Not so much hide, but to find my space of freedom to be in my head and heart without distraction. I called it my golden cave. Enjoy the beautiful Spring, Bobbie.
I love that, Rena. I remember doing the same thing. I believe they could grow anywhere. I’ve heard you can cut a branch and stick it in the ground, and it will grow without any preparation of root or soil……… A survivor in yellow, I think. Thank you, Rena. ~ Ever love, Bobbie
Mankind is always trying to correct nature’s path as though he knows what’s best. It doesn’t begin and end with what he calls cutting a plant to control its shape, prevent disease or increase its production. He also justifies killing (culling) animals “for the health of the herd” or in New Mexico making it a sport in killing coyotes, black bear, cougar, wolf, elk, deer, crows just to name a few. He uses the same rationale for killing people as well. Its all the same…bob
Ironic that you would make this comment, Bob. I am always astounded at well-meaning individuals. Just this weekend, I had a conversation with a neighbor who was applying some type of bug control to his plum trees. When asked, he gave me the name of the bug that was victimizing his trees. I watched as he coated leaves and bark with the ‘poison’.
I remarked……’you realize that the bug you’re killing is food for the mocking birds……… (he did not)……….and by killing the bugs, you impact the population of the bird, which is the natural predator for the thing you’re trying to get rid of’. He looked dazed and I continued, ‘the bugs will grow accustomed to the poison, and return with a vengeance….the only difference is that when they return, they will be worse than ever because their natural predator has been diminished.’
How many problems could be solved if just one person were to ask, ‘and then what?’
Thank you, Bob. ~ Ever love, Bobbie
Looks like you photographed the forsythia in my garden! 😀
Thank you. I absolutely love the unruly grace of these bushes. ❤ I am so glad to know you share this blessing with me, my friend. ~ Ever, Bobbie
Wendell A. Brown said:
Your poem as your words always radiate a soothing wisdom…which is always such a delight to read Bobbie! The poems and your thoughts blend together in a such a lovely way…they easily make one to weigh their message. You have made another lovely gem! My beloved friend it is always easy to love your embracing words in your poems… and you! Hugs and blessings always!
My life is made richer by you love, dear Wendell. Thank you seems hardly enough to say. ~ Always love, Bobbie