Pruning & Productivity

Two years ago we planted grape vines in the backyard. The first year we watched the vines grow, and were pleased with how they filled in, providing a third dimension to our walkway. This year they produced a bounty of grapes!

Here comes the kicker…if we want they vines to do well again in the future, to produce a harvest of grapes, we have to radically prune the vine, and trust it to come back!

This is much the same as what we experience in the seasons of life. The very thing that was productive and enjoyable last season may have to be pruned back in order to make room for next season’s productivity.

I confess that I did not have the confidence to prune as radically as I have read that I should! I like the familiarity of what the vine has become. I have watched the vines grow over the past two years, and they came to be full. Now, after pruning, the walkway is more open, less 3-dimensional, and the vines look sparse. Winter is coming.

If I don’t prune the vines, there will be no room for the new growth, and too much of the nutrient will be used up in sustaining the older, less productive canes. Pruning ensures that the available nutrients are optimally allocated to new growth, and of course the production of fruit.

I suppose it depends somewhat whether I prefer vine or fruit (the vine’s purpose)…but I really want both! This requires a bit of balance, and a bit of faith…aiming for “optimal”.

Hmmm…life is similar – no? Finance/family/friends/fitness (& food!) All balancing to optimally…dependent on the purpose we define.

I am tempted to write of my personal choices…but I have chosen to leave that open for you, unbiased. The question for you to ponder is, “What have you continued to do…using the limited resources you have…that you should consider to let go of, in favor of new growth?”

Happy thanksgiving!