Those who have followed my blog for a while know that I have a magnificent tree in the courtyard outside of my office. Watching it has brought me great pleasure over the years. This will make the third time that it has been paid homage in my blog.
Thursday morning, I watched contentedly as the branches of my tree swayed in the brisk Autumn breeze and dropped their leaves. I sat almost hypnotized as the winds blew stronger and sent literally hundreds of leaves floating to the ground like golden snowflakes.
The time I spent enjoying the impressive show that my tree provided was soon interrupted by the entrance of a work crew into the courtyard. They pierced the tranquility of the scene with loud voices, pruning shears and power saws.
My tree was being pruned.
I watched as the crew worked on my tree. The whir of power saws and the thud of branches crashing to the ground filled the air. When they finished their work, the ground below was covered with leaves, twigs and dissected branches. Soon after, another crew came and quickly cleared away the debris and everything was as it was before….almost.
My tree was still magnificent and stately. It was still beautiful and appealing, but it was also stark and barren. The places where the branches had been pruned were raw and exposed. It was difficult almost painful to see my tree like this.
As I reflected on the experience, I considered the reasons why my tree had been pruned. While, admittedly, I am no expert on trees or their pruning, I do know that pruning can promote health and stimulate growth. I have also heard that it maintains the intended purpose of the plant or tree.
As I looked again at my tree with its wounded and barren spots, I reminded myself that it would heal. In time it would be beautiful again. It would be stronger and more prepared for the new growth that Spring would bring.
Like my tree, we must sometimes “prune” ourselves of things in our lives that weigh us down or prevent us from growing or becoming the person we can and should be. Like the pruning of my tree it can be messy and painful leaving us feeling a little raw or exposed for a time. But like my tree we will heal in time. We will be stronger and more prepared for our future growth. We will be prepared to become who and what our Heavenly Father wants us to be…