The Bright Spaces

Our pear tree has gotten tall. It is out-of-control tall. This is presents a problem when it grows pears and we want to be able to pick the pears. The tree needs to be pruned. It needed pruning last year too, but I never found the time.

The pom-pommed scotch pine has gotten tall too. This is a tree that we deliberately shape into twisty branches with poms of needles. We have to prune it yearly to keep the shape attractive. I think we last pruned it three years ago. This year’s pruning will have to be drastic to get the plant back into control.

The wisteria vine along the back wall is falling off. It used to climb up the wall and drape over the top. But then the landscaping company on the other side of the wall came along with a buzz saw and trimmed everything. The vines over-balanced and are now laying heapishly at the foot of the wall. I need to prune them back to give them a chance to grow straight again. While I’m doing vines, I should do the grapes too.

I can see all of these things from my window. They are clearly visible in the bright sunshine which is trying to fool me into believing that the outdoors are actually warm. It is not warm out there. Warm remains elusive. I thought through my schedule, trying to figure when I can get outside with my saw. I decided to make tomorrow an outdoor day, but then I glanced at the weather for tomorrow. Rain. Cold rain. Possibly snow.

I used to schedule my life around the good gardening days. I watched the weather and planned. Every remotely sunny day in early spring found me outside messing with plants and dirt. Last year I missed Spring almost completely. I spent the season in my windowless basement office, scrambling to do the layout work on XDM. This spring is also going to be busy. I suspect that many of our Springs will be busy in the coming years. It seems to be part of the rhythms of the business in which we work. This means that if I am not careful I could miss my favorite season year after year. I could miss out on seeing the blooms grown from the bulbs I planted last Fall.

Today I have a bright space, a sunny day, even though it is not truly warm. Today I could go outside and work in my garden. I could also go back into my basement and do more layout work. There is always work to do. I need to plan my schedule so that when I happen upon the bright spaces in my life, I can drop work and go enjoy them. Because bright spaces do not wait for me. The joys of my young children will not wait for me. The moments when my teenagers need help will not wait for me. I must organize my life so that I can seize these moments when they arrive. Then I run outdoors to work in the sunshine.