What Actually Happens When You Sever Everything

Eight months ago these plants were sick. At a glance, their blooms looked normal. Green and glowing. But up close, examined, they were slowly being eaten away by a white, dusty parasite. It killed me to prune them to nothing, but I had no choice. For them to be completely healthy, I had to sever every place the parasite had touched. All that was left were lumpy, lonely branches.

I ached at the loss. They screamed at their nakedness. I didn’t know if they would grow back. But I did what I had to do if there was to be any hope of healthy, lasting growth.

And little by little, the rain came — relentlessly in a downpour on days’ end. And, on this crisp morning after a mind-escaping jog, my body halts at the sight of rain drops resting on new growth. Her foliage smiles, and I can’t believe what I’m seeing: She’s more lush than before; taller than I remember; and more vivacious with new expressions of color.

It’s scary to sever the old, even when it’s sick with silent parasites.

But, the rain is always faithful.

Prune back what has to go. Even if you’re left with nothing. The new, stronger, lusher-than ever growth, will come. And you’ll lose your breath at the gasping beauty you never imagined existed.