Today I pruned our blueberry bush. Two years ago, our first summer here at this house, we didn’t realize that the very hardy looking bush in the backyard was a blueberry bush. And then one day (truly almost overnight) its little green berries turned into luscious blueberries. For several weeks that summer the bush was laden with the most wonderful fruit. We had hundreds and hundreds of berries. But the next summer, the bush hardly produced any berries at all; and the berries it did have were much smaller than the year before.
Apparently you have to prune a blueberry bush (and an acidic mulch doesn’t hurt either) in order to have a productive blueberry crop.
To learn how to prune blueberries, I watched a video from YouTube. When I finally went out to the bush this morning armed with pruning shears, I found it difficult to chop away at branches that looked dead yet had a little life. What if they would start producing if I just let them grow? But the whole reason for pruning is to cut away the old in order to aerate and nurture the new. In the end, I just cut anything that was questionable.
Lent is a little like pruning a blueberry bush. In the soul-searching, self-sacrificing themes of Lent, we often give up something. I gave up unhealthy eating. At first, it felt like loss. I love salty, fried food. I crave chocolate. I live for cheese and crackers. It has been six weeks now that I have been eating healthy and I find I’m losing my cravings. And the healthy food that seemed so inadequate in the beginning is now becoming the food I actually do want.
By getting rid of the old habits I’m starting to nurture better habits. Who would have thought? Do you have an experience of giving up something you loved? Write a comment, I’d love to hear from you.
See you in the pews! Jane