Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Letting In Light
It’s a beautiful day to be working outside; the sky is blue with just enough puffy clouds to provide passing shade and a constant supply of imaginary creatures when looking up from our “strawberry patch”. Fantasy animals above are easier to spot than strawberry plants below.
“What strawberries?” Jen and I asked each other inquisitively while standing over a “garden” full of one foot high grass. It’s apparent why we were asked to weed. To fruit, strawberries need light.
Above us Bob is in the middle of an overgrown olive tree. With pruning shears and a hand saw, he cuts away dead branches and bad growth from the center of the tree, creating a bowl shaped canopy of healthy leaves. To fruit, olives need light.
During my life, I have likewise pruned my own set of weeds - negative attitudes, undesired ways of behaving, and fear based mindsets - in an effort to bring in light and allow for new personal growth. I am often disheartened as it appears to be a never ending job; one weed is pulled and another one grows or worse yet, the same one comes back!
Ca’Mazzeto’s four hundred olive trees have been on this land for over a century; with care and pruning, they will continue to produce for a hundred years more. Similarly, strawberries are perennials; with care and weeding, they too will continue to produce for years to come.
We work diligently for days pruning the trees, as did the wwoofers before us, as did the farmers prior to them, as did the ancestors before that, every year for the life of the tree. If we can prune repeatedly for a plant, certainly I can prune repeatedly for me. How great is that!?