alternatively :: A Conversation with Myself
Pruning is an arboricultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant. This practice usually entails removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, or otherwise unwanted tissue from a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for transplant, and both harvesting and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. [source]
The week after Gideon was born, my father and Curtis James took out 3 trees on our property. As an environmental educator for 10+ years, I taught others about trees. I planted trees. I built ropes courses with trees. I did not cut trees down, I saved them. The three trees in our front yard, however, were stunting the growth of the trees next to them. In and of themselves, they were good and functional. Over time, they had grown too close to each other- the result of poor planning 15 years ago. We all watched with fascination as the two men’s-men got out the chainsaws, wench, Land Cruiser, wedges, and ropes. They love a good project. Ry still talks about hearing the trees fall.
Pruning is difficult, I think, because it requires shedding some really decent stuff along with the deadwood in order to re-invigorate growth. It’s painful. There can be scars. It’s exciting to know change is coming, but initially there is a hole where a viable tree and its branches used to be.
You see the metaphor, I’m sure.
Last week, I sent out an SOS to the world… my local world… asking for prayer (for Ry’s speech and Gus’ foot), for time (to rescue Rylie during Gus’ many casting appointments), and for food (to give me a night off each week for the next month or so). Not because we were dying. Not because I couldn’t do it anymore. Not because I had 7 children and a broken leg. Just, simply, for help… to ease the journey. To make this crazy time simply a chapter in our life and not a Great Depression. “To mainain and improve health, reducing risk.”
It took some serious pruning on God’s part to clear the way for me to send that email. Was I desperate for help? No. Do we live 30 miles out of everyone’s way? Yes. Do 80 bajillion other people have 2 kids and their own eggs to gather? Yes. What if something more serious comes up 6 months from now and we need big-time help? What? My community is only good for one meal in my lifetime? One ‘help’ and they’re through? They’re counting? Shame.
Independence is good. Grace under pressure is also good. But, asking for help will not take down the tree. It actually makes it stronger. It’s ok to let others help. It’s even ok to ask for help BEFORE you reach the end of your rope.
I’m sorry for taking so long.
Thank you for everything.