Joyful and glad of heart
I generally find that Saturdays are just a blur as there is always so much to do, but when you are “joyful and glad of heart” (1 Kings 8:66) it has a tendency to slow down a bit. Today was another great day since I was able to start it with some work in my yard. As I worked my way toward the back corner, I was once again reminded of the importance of maintaining my yard instead of trying to catch up after a month or two of neglect.
In Nebraska if I mowed the lawn every week I could usually get away with ignoring the shrubs for a few weeks. However, in Hawaii That is a recipe for disaster. The grass grows slow and low to the ground, so you can let it go for a few weeks, but trees, shrubs and other plants must be maintained weekly. Unfortunately, I had let the back yard go for a few months and so I had Plumeria, Bougainvillea and Hibiscus growing in and through each other.
From a distance the view was spectacular, all of the pinks, oranges, yellows and whites blooming together looked like the world’s largest flower arrangement. However, as I stood right in front of the foliage a different picture emerged. Obviously the blossoms were still beautiful and fragrant, but I found that the branches were nothing but a series of twisted knots that looked far less than ideal.
Armed with a machete and some long handled loppers I began the challenging process of trimming back each of the plants. The Bougainvillea and Hibiscus were simple to trim. Each had dead branches which were easily removed; leaving behind very bright and vibrant plants and blooms. However, the Plumeria was different because every branch was brimming with beautiful pink and yellow flowers. Although the tree seemed content, it had far too many low hanging branches.
In Hawaiian culture the Plumeria symbolizes positivity and are included in Leis, or to celebrate special occasions. The blooms are also used to symbolize relationship status. If a blossom is placed over the right ear it means that the wearer is single and available, but the opposite is true if the flower is located over the left ear. With each lopped off branch I thought about the celebrations that might have been if I’d harvested the blooms instead of removed the branches. Apparently the tree had the same thought because with each clip came the release of milky tears from the trim site.
Within an hour I had a green recycle barrel filled to overflowing with limbs and leaves so I ended my work. As I walked away, I looked over the yard and felt good about my efforts. The plants all seemed taller & the blooms seemed even brighter; which made me “joyful and glad of heart.”