Monday, October 20, 2008

Prudent Pruning



We were discussing the wonder and perfection of Nature’s design … my good Friend and Landlady, Carol, and I … as we contemplated the dried and withered stalks of a fern showing the effects of a hot summer’s sun, and the lack of rain to replenish the moisture baked away. “But I know that as soon as we have a good rain, it will bounce right back” she said. I commented on the marvel of the system that closes down the plant’s exposure to the sun by withering the branches to only the surfaces appropriate to balance what is available from the root supply. When there is adequate supply of moisture and nutrients from the root system … the branches are encouraged to expand and spread a greater surface to the sun’s rays. But as soon as the resources available through the roots is diminished, the branches and leaves wither and reduce the demands on the plant.


I was reminded of a wonderful orange tree that I planted many years ago. It was a Honey Murcott variety of orange tree. I remember being told by the nursery owner that the tree would produce a fruit that could be expected to be of exceptional sweetness and that the tree was inclined to provide a prodigious supply of the sweet product. And, surely enough, in the first year that the tree produced fruit, the limbs were so laden with oranges that the branches were not capable of supporting the weight of what they bore. I remember placing boards under them to lessen the stress of the heavy load. I watered frequently and marveled at how uniquely flavored the delicious oranges were when ripe.

Then the tree died. I was bewildered and returned to, and sought an answer from, the nursery-man. “It over-produced itself” he said. “You should have lessened the demands on the tree by pruning away most of the buds before they began to form into fruit . By allowing all of the buds to develop, you stressed the tree and it could not maintain the demands placed on it. It may have looked magnificent for that short while … but without a balance between its root system, the delivery system of trunk and branches and leaves, and the fruit … the plant can not live. It is commonly known as ‘Murcott Collapse.‘ And, as you have seen … the plant can produce itself to death.”


And this is my recollection this morning. This is how we function. This is a perfect illustration of the nature of the forces at play in all of our lives in every moment of every day of our lives. While we do, indeed, all produce a widely varying assortment of “fruits” or “blossoms”, if you will … and some of us are of the “Murcott” variety that is inclined to over-produce … we are all similarly governed by an internal mechanism that requires that we produce in quantities that are in balance with our abilities to support the production. And when our supply of supporting “nutrients” is reduced by periodic “droughts” in physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental supply … it is a very prudent thing to do to allow ourselves to appropriately withdraw our “exposure” and “wither” a bit commensurate with our lessened resources. Perhaps, a period of “prudent dormancy.“ We can look to even the demandingly competitive and aggressive world of sport, and see that every sporting endeavor has some provision for a “time out” that allows for recuperation, restoration, and rejuvenation. So it is in this “game” of life.

So, My Dearest of Friends and Readers, I bid you glorious moments of celebration of bountiful harvests of fruits of your labours and efforts. I encourage you to bask in all of the breathtaking beauty of all of the bouquets of fragrant blossoms that your love, care, and affection have showered upon your personal world. And I counsel you to be ever mindful of the needs of … The Plant. That plant is (of course) You. I ask that you heed the lessons given us by Nature as you, please, give care to a healthy balance of … Who you are … What is available to sustain you … And what is expected of you (by yourself as well as others.) It is a wise and worthy thing to take a moment to give consideration to what your comfortable capabilities are in the present moment. It is prudent and sensible to survey your physical, spiritual, and emotional resources and contemplate how they can be best combined with your present capabilities for the most appropriate efforts. And then … and only then … give thought to what will be the produce of your Being who you are in this state of a healthy, balanced, and comfortable Self. And please remember (with Me) … it benefits no one … neither others, nor ourselves … if we produce a magnificent harvest … only to “produce ourselves to death.”

And I will be always here … encouraging, applauding, sometimes ‘pruning’, and always loving You. As I remain, your constant Friend and Servant.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like your orange tree I too have withered & dying from lack of nutrients, water, love & compassion. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, only this moment. Perhaps its the early hour, or my own loneliness ( self inflicted) I might add, that makes me less then inspired. Once more I only see the darkness around me.

John-Michael said...

I offer you, My Sweet Anonymous Friend, whatever sustaining and supportive benefits you can draw from the 'compost' of my Yesterdays. This I freely give to you ... for your survival in this drought. You have reached my Spirit's ear ... and the pulse of my Heart's genuine care for you. Little enough, I know. But yours nonetheless.

In loving compassion ...

Suldog said...

Once again, you've elucidated a truth - in entertaining fashion - that we all should keep near. Thank you!

And, public congratulations on your Rays winning...

Jim = :-(

but I also = :-) for you

San said...

That's a beautiful metaphor, John-Michael, especially since it's taken from an event that happened in your own life.

Our culture does encourage us to be driven and driven to produce. One of the most revered measures of our success is the Gross National Product. Clearly, things are out of balance on many levels. Economically, emotionally, and spiritually.

John-Michael said...

To have provided a Truth at a level that you find entertaining is what I consider having reached a high bar of Standard, indeed, Jim. Thank you for that, My Friend.

And as for the accomplishments of those Rays (whose exploits I was not favoured to see [the old rabbit ear antennae don't accommodate the cable channels ... SIGH!])... a very large part of my enjoyment in chasing their progress, was the awareness that I was sharing a focus in a happening that I knew held your attention as well. Yes! 'Tis true. I do enjoy knowing that you and I are on the "same page" even across all of these miles. I love Ya, My SulDog Friend ... and appreciate the Gift of our Friendship.

John-Michael said...

I do rest in a sacred appreciation of this Friendship ... and Fellowship ... that you and I share, Dear San. For it provides a rich mitigation of those surrounding voices that would take my Spirit to lower, less worthy values. And I thank you for the Treasure of your Presence. You bless my life.

Loving You ...

lime said...

the parable of the orange tree. once again, you have "given me permission" for being in a certain state i feel a bit guilty about being in. thank you for some much needed nourishment so i can continue to move toward greater balance and be properly fruitful.

John-Michael said...

You have reached into the midst of my personal moment of questioning my relevance ... and endorsed my individual worth. For nothing, My Dearest Lime, could surpass the validating merits of hearing that I have provided some instrument for your use in supporting your own efforts to play well your personal life-concert. I am in your debt for your generous telling me of this. Thank you Sweetheart!

Annie Wicking said...

What an interesting blog!

Best wishes
Annie

John-Michael said...

Blessings to You, Dear Annie. Your Presence enriches this moment ... and I am grateful.

namaste ...

Mrs. C said...

Great post!! It always made me very sad to see oranges just dropping off the trees and being wasted when I lived in Florida. And how healthy oranges are if only we can get them to hurting families in time!

I love the idea our local foodbank has: Plant a row. You plant an extra row in your garden for the hungry (and those people you may live next door to in these times!!) and bring it in to a drop-off location. Then the foodbank gives it to the people who drop by for cans and boxes.

Giving (money and cans, etc.) has dropped off dramatically and they're using everything they can to convince people to just help a little.

OK, rambling. But I just think that if we only used the things we're ALREADY making, we wouldn't need to overproduce...

John-Michael said...

I thank you, Mrs C, for bringing to "the table" this valuable and timely perspective. Your voice is a welcome note that compliments the chord of the moment.

namaste ...

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