In the orchard this evening, I tasted a freshly picked, homegrown peach in my mind. There's just nothing like a peach, picked right off your own tree in the heat of August, and eaten with the sticky juice dripping off your elbow. Because once you've picked one, the walk to the house is too far to wait to take that first bite!
I was coaching myself to dream of that huge, ripe peach, because I was doing the psychologically heartbreaking task.... of thinning the peach trees.
Even Justin questioned me when I told him I had to pick off more than HALF of those quarter-sized mini peaches. Really? Don't you want to keep ALL the peaches? No! With a healthy tree in good soil, a peach tree will have an abundance of flowers,
and with plenty of pollinators, each flower will turn into a peach. If in an effort to keep EVERY peach you leave them all, many of the fruits will rest right on each other, causing both peaches to rot where they touch. The peaches that grow near the crotch of a branch will outgrow its space, causing a misshapen peach that also rots. All of the peaches will be smaller because the tree is dividing its energy between so many.
Believe me, because I've done it. I've felt the disappointment in my gut when I see those peaches sit right on each other, sticky juice indicating the poor quality they will have when picked.
Today I couldn't help but think how much my life has been like these peach trees over the past year. Planted in good soil, with plenty of pollinators around me, I was trying to grow BUSHELS of fruit. So many good things to do. Flower business. Being a mom. Teaching 3 days a week. Serving at church. Laundry, dishes, oh, and sleeping... But as the fruit started growing, it became more than my little tree could ripen properly. All of those good things laid atop one another and became stagnant. Instead of producing a boatload of beautiful fruit, I could see that instead I was going to yield a bunch of undersized, half rotten fruit that didn't do anyone any good.
As time goes on, I see again and again, amidst occasional waves of disappointment over what I gave up with my subscribers to Audra's Gardens, that it was the right decision. The fruit I left on my tree- caring for my husband with focused intentionality, spending gametime and downtime with our three boys, teaching science at a school I love, growing flowers for my own joy and veggies and fruit for my family's nourishment- those fruits are growing juicy and ripe.
Let's remember that when we try to do it all, everything suffers. Ah, how moms especially fall into this trap. What fruit is growing on your tree that you want to channel your energy into? Is there fruit that you need to pluck off in this season?
Gotta run... I hear the basketball bounce, bounce, bouncing out on the court and by God's grace I've got time to be the official rebounder.