Consider the Lilies

Daylilies are one of the easiest flowers to grow.  You pretty much just stick them in the ground, and your reward will be lots and lots of beautiful blooms (which each last just a day) in your choice of a dazzling array of colors.  Then each year your plant will get bigger and produce more flowers until it gets to the point that the plant needs to be dug up and divided, and you have more plants to share.

I have several daylilies, and one in particular has become too big for the space it is in.  This year I will definitely need to dig it up and divide it – this will actually be good for the plant and for the whole flower bed.  It is crowding other plants and is just not as pretty as it was a few years ago.

Like my flowers, I need to remind myself to prune away some of the things in my life that don’t fit anymore.  Material things, beliefs I once had, habits I have acquired – these all need to be periodically examined to see if they have outlived their purpose, or to determine if they ever really had a purpose.

Pruning might seem to be painful, but proper pruning  is one of the best ways to produce new flowers or fruit and keep a plant healthy, beautiful, and strong.

So, what can be cut away in my life?  Those old books that might have inspired me ten years ago but I haven’t looked at since?  That comfortable sweater I reach for when I am  cold, with the frayed sleeves and small stains that should have told me a year ago that it was time to get rid of it (it may be comforting, but it does nothing for my appearance, and someday when I leave this earth, I don’t want my children saying “remember that white sweater that Mom always wore”)?  Those habits of daily life and habits of mind that have formed ruts that make it hard to create better habits and think fresh thoughts?  (even habits like daily exercise need to get shaken up once in a while so your body can use its muscles in a new way)

One of the benefits of getting older can be that you feel more comfortable in your own skin.  I don’t want to get so comfortable though that, like that daylily, I just sprawl out and take up space.

I’m not talking about embracing a trend just because someone says I should or changing just for the sake of changing.   I am not going to replace the daylily – at least not yet – I am just going to help it to be its best.

To make our lives more fruitful, healthy, and beautiful, pruning, editing, and moving out of ruts to forge new paths  is sometimes necessary.  If we are paying attention, we will know when it is time to make alterations or remove the worn-out or the excess.  Now, if you will excuse me, I have a sweater to throw away – before I change my mind.

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