Rain in the night, unheard through my sleep. Rain early, then an impossibly brilliant sun found me in the wet garden, my father-in-law’s little orange-handled clippers in hand.
The Knockout rose is really as care-free as its ads proclaim. While black spot and Japanese beetles and some mysterious but devastating fungus laid waste to other hybrids nearby, my deep pink Knockout just kept growing and blooming and branching lavishly over the garden fence, burgeoning grace over my well-intended but spotty gardening skills.
The only thing it needs to keep looking beautiful is dead-heading. And it reveals spent blooms easily– all the withered petals let go at once and leave the dark little center. But it’s tricky– the Knockout blooms in clusters, but not simultaneously. You have to slide careful clippers in to nip only the finished bloom that might have faded just next to a bud not yet open. Take away what is past leaving still-awaited beauty undamaged.
As I worked for a few moments, bringing down showers of raindrops and petals with each cut, I could not help but think that this discipline of careful pruning is one I should cultivate in life. How often what was good and beautiful, but past its time, might be crowding the next blooming thing?
I’m better at carefully weighing what I add to life, but not as skilled at asking honestly what I should let go of. What practices and pursuits, if really touched, would drop all their coverings and admit their season spent?