Gardening Analogies: Life Lessons from the Garden
The Sweet Pea Massacre
I kind of knew that I shouldn't have pruned them so harshly. I'd been looking at them closely now for two weeks - wondering why they were rioting over the side of their bathtub container, yet still they had no blossoms on their massive tendrils. I thought that I had planted duds, that I wasn't going to get any flowers, or worse yet,that I would have this tangled mess of sweet pea vines just taking up room in my precious soil.
I'd been angry that day, and perhaps in reflection I realize now that I should never prune while angry. Worse than that, never prune while angry when you aren't sure of what you are pruning.
So whack whack whack off came the fragile tendrils. I had no remorse, the more I pruned the more I whacked and pretty soon all that was left were a few curling survivors, clinging to the trellis for dear life. After I was done I felt a huge sense of relief, the unruly mass was gone and in it's place were a few scrappy stragglers that had managed to escape the wrath of my pruning shears. Alas, the sweet pea massacre was over and I could start with a clean slate.
After all, they weren't going to flower so why allow them to just take up space? As I left the huddled mass of vines on the ground and retreated inside to sip on my coffee, questions instantly started buzzing around in my head- Questions like: What if they were going to flower? Did I just make a major mistake? Did I perhaps take off too many vines? Did I just kill any chance of having any sweet pea's from my surviving tendrils?
My worst fears were confirmed when I went outside a few days later to check on my little remaining vines. As I looked on the ground, I almost broke down and cried in guilty sadness. There on the ground amongst the ravage of the sweet pea massacre were tiny little pink flowers, straining toward the sun. Petals so perfect they looked like fragile little butterfly wings. Springing forth even though I'd chopped them off from the source of their survival l- the vine. I felt like screaming, WHY DID I DO THAT? I was probably about to have the most profuse blooming of sweet peas I'd ever had in my life and I had cut them down in the prime of their life! Right before they could show their real stuff - that flowery burst of brilliance that would have captivated butterflies hearts..........
And as always, I learn some lessons the hard way, and I also see so many analogies to life in my garden. Analogies of how life in the garden is so closely related to our lives as human beings...Of how somehow, God always shows up in my garden to teach me something profound that I am meant to carry with me and reflect on........
Lesson Learned? Don't be too hard on people before they are ready, maybe the best bloom of their season is yet to come . If we cut in haste and anger we may cut them down before we can see their true glory.
So sorry sweet pea's- I'll miss you this spring.