On the first day of school as a child, my sisters and I got our picture taken in front the pink crepe myrtle in front of our Virginia home. Fresh new book bag, sharpened pencils, new outfit and the crepe myrtle.
Ever since, I’ve been a fan of the frothy tree. Here in Orlando, they’re everywhere. In fact, when I saw the single myrtle in front of my new place, I thought of it as a kiss from God. Ah, home.
There seems to be some controversy as to how and when to prune these pretty things. I often see them cut back so far I fear that they will never recover. Indeed, one nursery says cutting them below the “knuckle” has poor results:
Reduces the number of blooms;
The new branches cannot support the weight of the blooms;
In rain, the new branches weep over and often break because they have not been prepared for the blooms.
If the pruning is done correctly, however, you can expect double the blooms and branches that can bear the weight of it’s fruit.
Today, I was talking to a friend about her lime tree. She says she was talking to it (I can picture this; she’s a very compassionate woman): “Oh, sweet tree, I see your little leaf. I know that all these months you’ve looked dead, you were really working . I’m so proud of you. It’s hard to have hope in the dark.”
Doesn’t my friend have the kind of voice you’d like to hear from God (and He intends it!):
I see you there in the dark. I am doing something wonderful in you. Although it feels painful to be pruned and made small, I’m preparing you to carry the weight of your beauty. I’m so proud of you. I see your little bloom. And I will bring you a double portion of beauty because I see you can bear it, even in the rain. Trust me. I know how to bring beauty from ashes, blooms in the dark. Resurrection Sunday is coming!
[Watercolors by moi.]