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Spring—Ironically, a Time for Pruning

It’s April, a time of new growth. Ironically, that means some pruning first. Read what I mean in this week’s edition of Isn’t That Ironic?”.

My mind was wandering the other day and thinking about social media. I am on both Linkedin and Facebook. On Linkedin, there are a lot of people and businesses promoting themselves. It’s tiresome because I’m not interested in most of it, but it’s still better than Facebook. There I find everything from people ranting about some fault or foible in their fellow human, to cute kitten and baby photos that make you go, “ahhhhhh”.

It struck me that often these people are like dry leaves blown around by the wind. One moment they are blown and battered violently against a fence, the next moment they are lifted high into the air, enjoying weightless bliss and a grand vista of life below. These leaves usually end up in a gutter or ditch to slowly rot until they disappear altogether.

The problem is, they are unconnected to their Source of Life—the tree. The leaves that are still connected to the tree feel the same winds. They are buffeted by the wind, but not blown away. The wind passes, the sunshine returns, and the leaf continues to draw nourishment through it all. It once again feels the warm love of the sun and continues to grow. Through both wind and sun, it knows its oneness with the Source of Life.

The Master Teacher said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Most of us don’t really understand that metaphor but I grew grapevines for several years—even way up here in the North! Grapevines need to be pruned quite severely early in the spring. The root and base of the vine remain, year after year, the source of all growth. But large sections of last year’s growth on the branches are cut off and thrown away. You have to do this in order to get the best growth. That part of the branch that remains connected to the vine then regrows tremendously each year and produces abundant grapes.

That’s a lot like us. As we grow and mature, we find parts of us that we need to leave behind. They no longer suit us, no longer facilitate the growth and productivity of our soul. Old animosities, fears, grudges, the impatience and intolerance of our youth—we need to set them aside so our soul can sprout forth with a new luxuriance. Spring—a time of growth—yet, ironically, it is first a time for pruning. What do you need to leave behind in order to experience new growth?

I am in a prayer group and our reflective idea this week is to be constantly aware of the presence of God in our lives. That’s kind of like being the leaf on the tree—constantly feeling your connectedness to the Source of Life. We are constantly connected. We are one with that Source of Life. The irony is that we usually aren’t aware of it. Just like we are not aware of the air we breathe. It is in the air that we live and move and have our being, but we don’t even notice it. Similarly, St. Paul said that it is in God (the Source of Life) that we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) Part of our growth is to remain aware of that oneness. May that consciousness be also in you!

God Bless You!

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