Pruning and Being Pruned

Pluck. A delicate little flower falls to the ground. Pluck. Pluck. Pluck. I pull a bundle of tiny buds off of the branch. I stare at them, knowing that what had been hope-filled signs of life just seconds before now would quickly wither, their promise of fruit lost. As I pick yet another blueberry flower from the bush I sort of want to cry. This is my first garden. These are my first berry bushes... and I feel like I'm massacring them. Pluck. Pluck. I remind myself why I'm doing this. Pluck. They are young plants. Pluck. Newly transplanted. Pluck. Pluck. Doing this will force their roots to go deep. It will make the harvest better in years to come. Pluck. Pluck. Pluck.

Somehow I think they know it too. As they stretch their thin branches toward the sun. They seem to sigh with every flower picked. A sigh of sad disappointment and yet also a sigh of resigned knowledge. They know they were made to bare fruit. They want to bare fruit. They grieve the pruning. But they also seem to understand. "Yes," they whisper "this is right and good. We know it must be this way."

They are picked clean now. Their branches are lighter and yet somehow weaker too.

As the sun beats down and the wind stirs their vibrant green leaves, I'm reminded that the season isn't over yet. They are bare now, but they will sprout more buds soon. And week after week, until the cold frosts begin to cast their creeping shadow, I will be back. Picking. Pluck. Pluck. Pluck. Ensuring with each dropping blossom that the roots drop deep down into the warm earth.

Pluck. To your strong establishment little plants. Pluck. Pluck. To your sprawling, expanding, deepening roots. Pluck. Pluck. Pluck. To many fruitful and bountiful seasons to come. Pluck.

And just like my blueberry plant I wait. Trusting the hand that prunes me. Trusting each wound will make me stronger and more fruitful in years to come. You and I have a lot in common little plant. Pluck. Pluck.

Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman