Yesterday, I wrote about pruning the roses for spring, something I willingly do on my own terms. Sometimes in spring, plants get pruned on the weather’s terms. Things get ripped brutally apart from the weight of a heavy snowstorm, and you are left with broken plants, trees, bushes. You were excited about the potential fruit on your tree, or the flowers that were swelling in their buds, and now you are saddened by their demise. The plants need to stop with the budding and focus their energy down into their roots, then use that energy to heal what is left of themselves. This takes time, and while the plants heal, they can’t produce the harvest they’d been working toward.
An unexpected, unasked-for spring pruning can be heartbreaking. We abruptly face the fact that we are not going to have what we’d been hoping for, what we’d had before. The apple we saw in the bud is gone, and it is not coming back. Like the tree, we need to stop the forward motion toward the potential of that particular season, and focus our energy on accepting what is right in front of us. We can pick up the broken pieces and put them in the compost, allowing them to rot in order to feed the next season’s budding tree. Some plants will never be quite same again, others will bounce back with an even better harvest, and others will take much longer to heal but over time will grow into abundant producers. It depends on the plant and the severity of the injury. If you adjust your expectations based on these factors, you will accept each plant for what it is and what it is capable of doing.
When you unexpectedly lose a relationship, a job, a loved one, you are suddenly forced to stop moving forward. You are no longer walking on the path you’d been hoping to stay on. It is heartbreaking, and it is shocking. Your focus changes from potential and future and you are here, right now, in the wreckage. It is important to understand that it takes time to heal, and that things will change from what you’d hoped for and expected. Allow yourself to focus inward, and don’t let anyone try to rush you through this process. You will not be the same person you were before, and you need to adjust your expectations based on the person you are right now. It takes time to allow your broken parts to disintegrate into fertile material for the growth that will happen later, when it is time to move forward again. Take that time now and take it for as long as you need. Grief moves at its own pace, and the best you can do is allow yourself to be in it while it is with you. It will eventually move over enough to make room for you to experience life, harvests, and love again, in whichever new forms they come.