Every gardener knows that plants, trees, shrubs and hedges grow well by constant pruning. Their eyes are forever on the lookout for withering leaves, falling flowers, and dry branches. They nip away old buds for tenderness to be reborn.
They know that every plant is unique and precious and have to be grown according to its nature. Their job is not only to weed out, shape and beautify the garden but also keep it useful. A garden can teach you the lessons of life if you are a willing student.
Creepers are the delicate kind. They need to be given constant support to reach the height and there are obstructions as they climb. They need all the support, sometimes wanting to change their path on their way up. They are forever watching the sky, holding their heads high.
The artistic plants need to be shaped. They are vibrant, colorful and blessed with abundant foliage. They shape well with constant care. They beautify the world. Makes it richer. But they tend to dry up when neglected.
The flowers that spread happiness are the most sought and loved. They have to be tended, watered and cared every day. Weeds grow along with them, wanting to share the glory. They have to be dragged out, mercilessly.
As winter comes to a freezing end, the gardener rakes memories, spring cleans the garden. The ones that don’t fall away easily are the dry twigs. Devoid of green leaves and beauty they still cling on to the branches pretty sure there is still purpose to life. And one beautiful day in spring, a bird snips away a twig and carries it to build its nest.
Every child grows the way they are shaped. They are protected and cared for by the parents. They are allowed to explore the world until their time comes to leave the nest. And that freedom comes with boundaries in some directions. Those boundaries prevent them from treading away from the good values and principles that they have learnt over the years. In the long run, it is those boundaries that shape life. Adds wisdom. Parents are budding gardeners, learning as they prune and shape their little one’s life.
Some other day, I will tell you the story of a creeper and a flowerbed. Until then, celebrate summer.
Subhashini Chandramani is mother of a teenager. She is a homemaker and poetical story-teller who writes under the pen name, neelavanam which means the blue sky. You can follow her thoughts at http://neelavanam.tumblr.com/ and @Neelavanam on Twitter.