Today was a day for pruning. The apple trees in our garden have been left to go to ruin.  I doubt they have been pruned in decades, and they are a mess of interweaving old wood draining energy away from fruit production.  This is  compounded by the overgrown Leland Cypress trees that overshadow the entire orchard, blocking the sun from the fruit trees.  So they are coming down one by one.

Pruning apple trees that are so neglected is a task for a chain saw.  The results are nothing short of drastic.  But you have to be brave if you ever want fruit.  Cut deep and hard!

It is a bit like restructuring a business.  If you faff around at the edges trying to protect jobs in the short term you risk the longer term viability of the business.  When you need to cut, cut hard, cut deep, cut fast.  Then you are in a position to grow again.  There is nothing more positive in business than growth.  It gets everyone motivated and energised.  Of course this is assuming you are not one of the ones who was cut 🙂

Mirror in February; by Thomas Kinsella

The day dawns, with scent of must and rain,
Of opened soil, dark trees, dry bedroom air.
Under the fading lamp, half dressed — my brain
Idling on some compulsive fantasy —
I towel my shaven jaw and stop, and stare,
Riveted by a dark exhausted eye,
A dry downturning mouth.

It seems again that it is time to learn,
In this untiring, crumbling place of growth
To which, for the time being, I return.
Now plainly in the mirror of my soul
I read that I have looked my last on youth
And little more; for they are not made whole
That reach the age of Christ.

Below my window the wakening trees,
Hacked clean for better bearing, stand defaced
Suffering their brute necessities;
And how should the flesh not quail, that span for span
Is mutilated more? In slow distaste
I fold my towel with what grace I can,
Not young, and not renewable, but man.


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