|Fully brambled up! 4 feet high and 3 feet deep.|
Today I cut brambles. And I was struck during the 45 prickly minutes as to how like life, learning, growth, change, the activity was.
It was on with the thick gloves and out with the secateurs; time to face the tangled task and begin. But where? At the beginning seemed best; the stem ends nearest me, even if nowhere near the root. I could have dived in right down there - in fact it might have seemed the 'right way to get right to the root' - but it would have been a real case of 'Ouch'!' As I went for my persistent 'clipping away at what was right there' method, I was pondering the many ways of 'attacking' something tangled and painful, whether it's brambles, the dilemmas in our life, or things in our past that come up for healing. Some folk might get out the Big Guys; the petrol strimmer from the shed and go at brambles like a bull at a gate, or maybe the scythe - a slightly smaller bull - or maybe with weed-killer? Or maybe even get someone else to do the job?... Possible with hedgerow brambles, not so effective with our own inner brambles. What might you do? And does your choice in the garden tie in with your choice of dealing with the 'inner brambles' of your life?
So many of these choices could be called 'throwing the baby out with the bath water' - losing much of what is good along with the brambles. Ever the lover of analogy and metaphor, I found myself being aware of my method, and the many others that could be used, and how like the approach to the 'deeper stuff of life" they were.
My awareness around today's brambles was:
- Step up to the task and look at it.
- Sense the overwhelm at the size of the clump of brambles.
- Start by trimming the bits nearest to me, even if only a short way down from the tip.
- Discover that much of the clump was long dead and incredibly easy to pull away.
- Experience the snipping of a long stem, pulling on it and getting snagged because it was caught up elsewhere.
- Having found that these long stems were often tangled further in, simply leaving them until I found them again later after clearing what was in front of them.
- Cut and snip, snip and cut, and then step back to see the long 'branches' over my head for the next go, but enjoy the clarity of what had been cleared, and smile at the power of persistence.
- Sometimes there was a really, really long stem, and to pull it out I had to stand up and step right back and away several feet from the clump in order to allow the tip of the stem to come free.
- Having seen the clump from afar again, I could see how it was going and where it was best to step back in.
- As the brambles cleared, there were all the hidden beauties of the old wall underneath ferns, foxgloves, primroses, and the old granite stones themselves. Those things that would have been lost with the strimmer, the scythe, the weedkiller - all those things that 'would have made the job easier and quicker'....but babies out with their bathwater.
|80% of the brambles are actually dead and brittle.|
And what's the real reason I was clearing brambles? Was it to 'get rid of the brambles'? Or to reveal what is underneath? To focus on the obstacles? Or the dreams? The revealing of dreams is a far more effective way of working. It even, in this instance, allows acknowledgment of the beauty and benefit, the gifts and loveliness of the bramble bush - white flowers and delicious fruits. (Just not right there, please!) And the focus lends a gratitude to those 'inner brambles' that we have all experienced; there are always flowers and fruits to those, too.
|A little more to go, but the beauty revealed.|
Now, will I remember the steady, directed, one step at a time, patient, enjoyable, trusting, happy method of 'cutting back the inner brambles' next time I come upon them?
I don't know. I hope so. How will you do? What method would you use?