Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I love plants. Flowers, trees, grasses, weeds...they are all lovely to me. I love the way they spring to life from tiny little seeds. I love the way they transform as they grow. I also love to watch them flourish after pruning.

I have a lovely plant that is brilliant for ground cover; it grows and spreads so quickly and when used in a container has a gorgeous quality of spilling over the sides when it runs out of ground to cover. I bought two of them, but for some reason only put one in its container. Its brother plant was a little neglected, and after two weeks in the hot Columbia sun, it appeared to be dead.

But...there's always a but in a post like this, isn't there?...but. It wasn't dead at all. There was still life in that little neglected container, being held back by a thick layer of unhealthy remains. So instead of throwing that little plant away, not looking for the small signs of life that might still be there, I started to pull the layers of death away. There was a lot of it, and I wondered the whole time if it was going to be worth it. If I should've just let it be and not bothered to remove what was holding this plant back.

Then I got to the underside of the unhealthy, choking remains. And I saw what I was looking for. New life. Ready to thrive, and grow, and spread into something beautiful. I saw the hope of a future for this little plant. And I began to think how life is a lot like that.

Sometimes, you see, there are things in our life that are deeply unhealthy, that are keeping the freshness in us from coming out. Sometimes, there are friendships that need to be trimmed away. Sometimes it's old habits that are like a layer of death keeping us from the light ahead. Sometimes it's our own negativity keeping us from seeing the sun.

So we prune. We separate the unhealthy from what is ready to bloom. We take away what is hopeless to make room for newness. We say goodbye to friendships despite the pain it comes with, we make new habits that help us in order to drop those that hinder us. We actively seek out joy in our lives to make the pain easier to live with, and keep it from stopping our ability to grow. We prune.

It's not easy. Sometimes it seems pointless. Sometimes you hardly remember why you started this process, and question everything. And then you break through to the other side and beauty is waiting for you. The layers of unhealthy weeds have been pulled away, and new sprouts greet you. And you remember why you started. Because this moment, this peace and loveliness, this is what you knew you would find. This part of life was just ahead.

Aren't you glad you didn't stop pruning?

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