The word prune in itself simply isn’t pleasing to my ears. In fact, when I look at myself in the mirror and say the word prune or pruning I don’t even like the way it makes my mouth poke out. The process of pruning, whether it be trees, relationships, closets or budgets is often equally as disturbing to me.
I get the whole thing of things needing to be cut off so other things can grow on or come in, but let’s be real. Who wants to go through all that? Why can’t the things that must go gingerly trickle away in a sweet, symphony of melodic tunes while the other things taking its place arrive in a triumphal parade of ease and grandness?
Earlier this year, towards the end of winter, my landscape team engaged in their annual cold-weather function of cutting back the trees and shrubs in my yard. (God bless them!!!! I mean that for real.) The did it during some of our coldest temperatures this year in Birmingham, Alabama, and they did it with several pieces of foliage that were in need of some serious TLC (tender leaf care). They did a superb job. Those trees and bushes were cleaner than a chicken bone in a toddlers hand and neater than the spice rack of a woman with OCD. The shrubs, which, of course, are smaller than the trees and not the first thing you see, were an aesthetic sight to behold. The trees, were, well, how shall I say this, naked, exposed, and bare for all the world (or at least those in my world) to see.
Fast-forward to now, and little beautiful blooms of pink and white buds are peeking out of the limbs of the manicured trees. Those bushes that were shaved back to their bare minimal are now interchangeable arrays of fuchsia, green and white.
Tree pruning is a lot like life, in as much as I don’t like to admit it. Yes, the pruning ain’t pretty, but before you know it the painful, embarrassing, ugly, awkward, confusing and inconvenient things that were revealed as a result of what was stripped away, cut back, dealt with and plain ol’ made to disappear are replaced with beautiful assurance of the blooming blessings ahead.