I took some time yesterday to cut back my orange tree.
It wasn't difficult to cut back the dead branches. The thin ones snapped. The thicker ones needed the pruning shears but they fell away. Easy, easy.
The dead branches were easy choices for cutting. They had to go.
It's relatively easy to get rid the dry, dead, useless stuff. It shouts to us "Let me go!"
For me, the hardest part of pruning is cutting away the stuff that's still alive. Pruning involves choosing winners and losers. Living leaves fall lightly on the lawn. Cut too little and there's no fruit. Cut too much and the tree dies.
I struggle so deeply to give up the Good for the Better. When opportunities pass by, I feel the loss. Each living leaf might lend life to the tree.
In the end, it's a comfort that we are not the Gardener in the biblical story. We aren't even the vine. We are just the branches. Powerless. Dependent. Full of life and possibility.
And, though our first inclination may be toward que-será-será drifting, our vulnerability before the pruning shears becomes an opportunity to trust, an invitation to lean into a relationship of confianza.
How will we respond to the invitation to confianza?
Photo courtesy of Cathy Cole