On Pruning and Peace


This weekend I tended to some rose bushes. I’ve had them potted for years and believe me when I tell you, they’ve seen better days.  I noticed on Friday how worn they looked with bunches of parched, half-dead flowers hanging all over them. Two rainless weeks combined with my not watering them. Not a great combination.

My rose bushes sit on either side of our back porch and until recently have been a beauty to behold. As my two year old’s ran around, collecting rocks from our driveway and plopping them, one by one into their baby pool, I grabbed my sheers and went at it…

the business of cutting away at something in order to help it live.

The metaphor hit me as far too obvious but I felt it working on me just the same. As I snipped away at dead buds and crinkled leaves, my heart began pulling for me to consider something. A question.

Wherein do I need pruning?

I moved across the plant considering whether or not to cut, where on the stem to cut and flipped this question around in my brain. Wherein do I need pruning?

As I snipped away, I witnessed the hold my thoughts had on me, sucking the joy of the present moment from me. Cut? Don’t cut. Right place? Wrong place.

Where indeed. The answer came at once. I get to prune my thinking.

Feeling freshly cut in this new awareness, my thoughts fell away. I began to snip where ever my hand was led. No questions to consider or thoughts to be thunk. Just feel. Cut. Feel. Cut. Feel. Cut.

This thoughtless state of mind lasted for a good two or three snips a least until my thoughts, lonely for company, came rushing back.  Not one to fall silent for long, the first thing I thought was this:

“How peaceful.”

Ha. The irony of this thought about peace interrupting my new-found thoughtless state was made all the more ironic by the busyness of the little ones around me. Though I’d been absorbed in my pruning I’d held a soft focus on my kids this entire time (as only a parent reading this could understand.) My kids had begun to take notice of my silence. What was this this thing that held their mother’s attention so completely? They wanted in on it and began asking (begging? pleading? demanding!)  to share my sheers.

Inside the kitchen I hunted down two pair of round-nosed scissors and returned to my pruning, this time with two helpers. As my two year old’s preyed on my rose bushes I smiled, watching healthy, helpless leaves (and the occasional brown one) fall away under their powerful snips.

Thank you for taking one for the team my sweet, sweet rose bushes.

Though far from a zen moment to an onlooker, inside me, I felt it. Peace. Connection. To myself. My children. The world around me. I think tomorrow I’ll see about putting my thoughts on hold for another three or four seconds. (Wink.)

I’d love to hear from you. What question has been pulling at your heart of late? Is there something in you that’s ready to fall away? You may be glad to hear my roses are doing better than ever, even after their “haircut” this weekend. 😉










Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy hopes if you liked this article you will subscribe and/or join other mindful mamas here. To keep the lights on, Suzanne runs a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Shawn. She is passionate about the connection we are and to that end offers Infant Massage, parent coaching and YogaParenting.


  1. Josephine (jo) Dick says:

    Suzanne, what a sweet glimpse into your heart world. Love it. Thank you.

    Your question is now pulling at me, asking to be explored. Is there something in me ready to fall away?

  2. What a beautiful piece, Suzanne! I think there is a scripture in the New Testament somewhere about this very concept. I love the idea of snipping away at the old to let new light shine in. I find myself often forgetting to find these moments where I let myself just be in silence. I wish that it wasn’t so hard as a mom to find time/make time to do such things as this – quietly tend to a bush and to my spirit at the same time. I do find that when I find the moments it impacts my kids greatly. When they see me taking a minute to breathe, to center, to just be, it usually leads them to slow down a bit as well.

    You should see my flowers and bushes…perhaps we can have some pruning time around here this weekend as well!