It’s the hardest thing to do in the garden. Especially for someone like me, who doesn’t have a single earth sign in her astrological chart. I’m so dang happy when anything grows that cutting a branch, even a dead blossom, takes some thought. But Kelly had said Gloria needed a single stem to thrive, so up the hill I went with my clippers and the camera and the water bucket.
It was done in a couple of seconds: SNIP. Done.
I did feel a need, afterward, to sit there a while and shape the mud around her roots into a better dam, to hold the dripping water. I told her she had a lovely little shape, really, for a small tree. And that her needles seemed shiny and spiky and tough, for such a small tree.
Together, we admired the view she has of the pasture, horse and dogs, kind of a feathery chartreuse sentinal seeing all the comings and goings of the wild turkey and her one fat baby and the quails and dragonflies and blackbirds and thrushes.
Together, we also gave a nod to the skeletal remains of the young redwood who’d expired of neglect right there next to her. Then as I started down the hill, I took one more shot to reassure myself, and her, I suppose, and you, that she really does look more tree-like with a single stem. And certainly it doesn’t hurt for a tree to feel worthy of grooming.
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