Today, I again found myself digging blackberry roots.
We had the bushes trimmed down to the ground when we moved in, and several times, I’ve cut back new shoots.
But they keep on coming and threaten to complelety refill their original area.
I’ve acquiesced and started digging out the roots, with a potato fork, one at at time.
No more pruning or cutting back.
They say that each time a blackberry bush gets a haircut, it takes it as a sign to come back stronger, to send out fresh roots and canes. My experiment in the blackberry patch seems to prove this true.
Of course, some of the canes have dried out from all of my hacking. But most are thriving — except the ones that are finally bottoms-up, root ball to the sky.
What about me? Do I come back stronger after a to-the-ground pruning? Do my roots send up new shoots with vigor? When my efforts are hacked and dashed, do I send a tender, tentative, exploratory leaf to seek air? Or do I sink and wither?
We’ve all had a covid haircut, a 2020 pruning.
Some days, I send green, thriving canes careening through dead sticks and to the sky. Other days, my hacked wounds are raw, and I crumble inward, waiting.
As the year closes in, nears its end and continues its hacking, may I be a bit more like the blackberry bush, welcoming the pruning.