I confess, it felt counter-intuitive—just plain wrong.
Just plain, straight out wrong to bend over each strawberry plant, press the delicate white petals — and all subsequent hopes of fleshy scarlet sweet — press between thumb and index finger —
and then just pluck it off.
I had forced myself on because of the Googled reassurance:
“Pick off all first blooms to ensure subsequent harvests are more plentiful.”
If I ever intended for the everbearing berries to produce heavily throughout the season, I had to choose to sacrifice the first harvest so that all the growth and energy could be more efficiently invested into producing later crops.
So that is what I do: Trim. Pare. Cut back.
It’s like a song:
Pick, Prune, Pluck.
Cut out that which seems good to invest in the best.
That’s what the garden needed in early spring.
And come late summer, looking out into the fall, the calendar, it needs the same.
The law of the garden is the law of life: Early sacrifice for later bounty.
I stand over the schedule and I learn to say No. I learn to let go. I learn to trim back.
It’s painful to prune out good things blooming. It’s hard to remember why you are pruning.
It’s hard to have faith in the harvest coming — but later.
I confess — there is a counter-intuitiveness to it: to pluck off certain life activities that will yield good fruit. Some might even think it foolish to pare back, when the bloom and gifting apparent; a good harvest inevitable.
Yet it’s the pruning of seemingly good blooms that grows a better life.
To allow later seasons to yield the longed-for abundant crop.
It takes courage to crop a life back — but it’s exactly the way to have the best crop of all.
That’s what I tell myself standing there looking at the calendar, at September, at a new year — at the faces of people I love.
What seems like the hard work that’s taking an eternity today — is exactly what may make the most difference in eternity.
What today seems a plucking of dreams will someday be but a trifling.
What can seem like a plucking of dreams — may be the wisest of investments. In the later harvest.
The sweetest one.
“Prayer is the alpha and omega of planning. Don’t just brainstorm; praystorm.”