i spent a lot of time in my garden last week. it was time to tackle the blackberry bushes. train the new growth bursting forth from the ground. tie back loose ends, cut from the base the dry, dead canes. it took good effort as the bush stands several feet taller than me. stepping back, old leaves and debris falling down from my hair, i stood in a moment of wonder. what started a scraggly mess now looked clean. shaped. lush. with the dead cut out the plant came alive with it’s new green buds and sprouting leaves, and it’s red tinged canes.
on to the strawberry patch. this proved a more arduous task. after raking the straw from last year, i faced an incredible mass of weeds lying silent and still beneath the scalloped leaves of the strawberry plants. deeply interwoven in her tendrils, the silken weeds slipped through the tines of the rake. i found a spackling blade in the garden shed. scraping the surface of the soil the shallow roots were easily loosed from the ground. patches of weeds gone in a moments time.
but not all the weeds were so easily uprooted. those that planted themselves in close to the strawberry plants were the hardest to disentangle. their root tendrils intertwined with those of the strawberry plants. to pull the weed was to pull the plant itself. they took careful pruning. some an uprooting and a careful replanting to free them from the weed that unabashedly desired to steal it’s light and compete for nourishment.
it reminded me of some difficult relationships. how easy it is to see unhealthy relationships in others and wonder why they stay. wonder why they don’t pull the weeds. but it’s the ones in closest that are the hardest to pull. they tear a part of us with them. and though it might be necessary for us to bear good fruit; we, too, are damaged in the weeding. and it takes time for roots to reestablish. for the void to be filled. for the part of us that was torn and broken to heal.
be patient with yourself. love one another well. we’re all a little bruised and damaged from the weeding.