Saturday, September 11, 2010

I realized it as I spoke the words aloud.

"I'm tired of being pruned. I just want to grow."

That's just it, isn't it?

lilac tree

Mom had a lilac tree out by the swing. The swing that creaked, that swayed when we shared tears, dreams and stories. The Lilac Tree was a gift. Lilacs bring my mother to life. She can smell them a mile away. So it was only fitting she had one of her own in the yard.

She tended it with care. I remember watching her in the evenings, fingers gently lifting the young branches, tucking soil around the new roots.

New roots take a while to find their homes. Especially on that slanted hillside.

One day we almost lost it entirely. An overeager landscaper sliced across the young sapling with a weedwacker. My mother cried, searching for the roots.

But they remained. Tiny thriving arms were still there, and they slowly began their work of growing back to the sky.

Not to be wounded again, the tiny tree was marked. We were sternly directed. The tree was not to go anywhere.

It grew. Slow. Tall. I started to learn how the whole process worked. At the right time, my mother would stand proudly in front of the bush, its branches strong, suggesting at what's to come. She would pull out the large clippers, and start snipping.

Precisely. Intentionally.

Pruning it with the greatest ease and affection.

"But why?! It's so tall!" I would shout from the porch steps.

"It won't grow flowers without pruning!" She shout back over her shoulder.

Cut. Cut. Cut.

photo by hannah moore

What's a lilac without lilacs? Just a bush, I guess. Just something with lots of potential, but nothing actually worth admiring.

I find great comfort in the pruning. As painful as it is, it means he is standing near, breathing very close to my tired arms.

And very precisely and intentionally, the Master Gardener starts to prune.

So I can bear fruit someday. So there's something worth all the pain.

The pruning is always with love.

So yes, I'm tired of being pruned. I want it, but I'm tired of it too. I just want to grow. But I see now that the two go hand-in-hand.

Unless I just want to be another random plant among the brush.


  1. i couldn't agree more my friend! what perfect words for the cry of the heart! hope you are well!!!

  2. pruning is part of our lives, isn't it friend?!