Last year, I saved a couple Boston ferns to overwinter (CLICK HERE to see how). Who wants to pay for new ones every spring?
Just give them a drink every 3 weeks or so and they will survive. The problem?
They get scraggly. The old dead fronds turn brown and brittle and need trimming.
The new growth seems determined to grow, like a toddler balancing on their tiptoes, just barely out of reach of the cookie dough spoon. The problem? Those old fern fronds are blocking the light and taking up valuable root space in the basket.
The solution? You've got to shear those ferns. You've got to go to town on them and cut away all the old, dead growth. It did its job, it was beautiful, but now it is finished. Time to move on, time to start anew. Get those old fronds out of the way and new fronds will grow high and proud, lush fern foliage dripping out of the edges, waving in the wind.
There is an exception to the rule. When you go to trim the fern and you find this:
Don't cut. Don't touch that fern. There are times when the dead fronds can stay. Their purpose is greater than growth. They are there to protect and hold 6 tiny little lives, so let them be. There is a time in life when growth doesn't matter. There is a time when improvement isn't needed. When all you really need to do is hold and protect. There is no need to groom properly. There is no need to think deeply. There is no need to move, or work or become a better person.
There is a time just to be that little fern, holding on to those dead fronds, and caring for those little eggs. It will only be 6 weeks and the birds will be born, the eggs cracked and thrown out by mama bird. The babies will grow unimaginably fast and then they will be gone. Poof -- one day in summer and it is all over. No more watching the mama flit from branch to branch, squawking over her babies. No more tiny little chirps and tiny little beaks. There will be time to prune the fern. It can recover. ...and if it doesn't? Well, it is worth it, isn't it? A fern for 6 tiny birds? Wouldn't you make that trade?
I know that it is good for me to grow. I know that it is good for me to think deeply, live lively, run and eat well. I know that it is good for me to do pilates and have lunch with friends. I know that I need to grow spiritually and intellectually. I know that blogging and writing and list making renews my soul and gives me a fresh outlook. I know it is good for me. I know what I need and I know how to get it. That doesn't mean I should. There are hours, days and sometime years that my only job is to hold still and protect. My personal growth matters not compared to the protection of my babies. Protecting their hearts from hurts and protecting their lives from harm. That is my only job.
There will be hours, and days and years that they won't need me anymore. I can cut off the old and the used up bits of me and grow with renewed energy. I will have time to grow later. ...and if I don't? Well, isn't it worth it? Myself for 3 tiny little souls? Wouldn't you make that trade?
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