This past weekend I found myself going out to the freshly mowed backyard and picking some oranges. That quickly led to me wanting to clean up the tree a bit which led to me trimming the overgrown plumbago which inevitably led me to the gardenia bush.
The gardenia bush.
It has grown large since I moved into this house. And when the time comes to bloom, I can't pick all the flowers. This bush was a heavenly gift from Mami as this was one of her favorite flowers.
But, it needed to be trimmed and as I got closer I noticed that there was a low wall of weeds in front of it. I began to pull the weeds and found that some had managed to work their way up the tall bush, feeding off of it as they moved along.
Although the bush looked green and lush, it wasn't necessarily healthy. I started the process of cleaning up some of the branches. First, timidly as I didn't want to lose what I perceived as healthy stems with fresh buds on them. As I inspected though, I realized that some of the branches seemed dry and while there were buds on a lot of them, the buds appeared to be frozen in time, never to open. I began to clip.
As I got to the low branches touching the floor, I noticed fresh new growth below it slowly attempting to grow toward the sunlight. I realized that the big green branches that appeared healthy from far away were actually choking the new growth just below it. Upon further inspection, I also realized those branches while green, appeared to have been decaying and frayed.
It got me thinking about people. About how sometimes we appear to be thriving and growing but don't bother with the pruning and make ourselves weaker in that way. How we quietly rot in the places we don't expose. How we make our branches dry and withered, leaving nothing but the closed buds of potential sadly dangling for all to see.
It got me thinking about this spiritual journey I'm on. About how I am being pruned this year. How my roots are being exposed. How the fresh leaves of knowledge are being given a chance to see the light of day, tenderly guided to wrap themselves around established branches so that their growth can be steady and supported along the way.
It got me thinking about this new space and this new word that I am using as I share my thoughts with the world.
I am grounded and standing here because of the prayers of my ancestors. It is their suffering that I benefit from. I am drinking from the deep waters where roots have been growing long before a leaf sprung out of the dirt. I am steady because, while it might appear as if it is just me standing here, the tendrils beneath my feet span far and wide and create a foundation that is hard to move.
I stand tall because the winds of change wouldn’t have it any other way.
The lessons from my afternoon in the yard? Don't get so big that you think you don't need pruning. Don't be so thirsty that you are afraid of sharing what nourishes you. Don't be afraid to clear yourself from that which does not serve you. Don't shy away from asking for a steady hand to help you as you grow. And, don't forget what and who keeps you rooted to this world, this life, this adventure.
I hope you stick around, friends. Like me, this site is a work in progress. Sign up for the newsletter and join in as one of my roots, will you?