M A Y / 1 2

As we prepared for the Mother’s Day celebration at Bartlett Arboretum we were tidying up, pulling tulips for mums, planting more budding flowers & [my newly found interest] pruning. [the heck?]

“Trim the dead right up to the live tree so it promotes growth. The likelihood of it growing back healthy is increased.” • {tree}

Amidst my therapeutic tree pruning, it unfolded within me that this tree and its lifeless, energy drain limbs is no different from our lives and the baggage we carry or hold on to. Just as the limbs of a tree are cropped, we too can trim the dead, the negativity, the nonsense & the unfulfilling branches in our life; the branches that leave us parched, hurting, seeking fulfillment or approval, running in circles & exhausting beautiful days.

Just as the tree exerts energy in trying to contain the damage & the sickly branches continue to prevent new growth, we too find ourselves stuck & empty due to people, things, circumstances & choices.

Insert: pruning.

I have experienced the difficulty in “trimming the fat” within my own life; I have also experienced the joy that comes from it that I never knew existed.

The initial difficulties in saying no, walking away from a hurtful person, loving someone from a distance rather than closely & full of expectation, making discerning decisions based on acknowledging my worth all lead to growth within me & have since offered me joy, restful nights & alive days.

The tree takes years to grow, flower, stretch, canopy, shake the dead, flourish, spread, rise up — with no end to speak of; what makes us think we are not so peculiar?

I am thankful for my foundation, my heart, my trunk.

I am thankful for my branches that stretch out in many directions seeking light, passion, service & my Maker.

I am also thankful for the deadwood that has been shaken off — among the nonessential has been learning experiences teaching me truth, authenticity, what truly matters in our lives & once shimmied down to my core, it is where I truly uncover myself.

Thank you {Mother Nature} | for being my teacher.

Thank you {Tree} | for helping me to become an enlightened wildflower among the wilderness 🌸

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