I can remember the first time I trimmed a shrub. It was early fall of 2001, and we had been living in our first home for several months. We had a wisteria bush or shrub (whichever it's classified as) that the previous owner had planted in the middle of the tiny front yard. And let me say that little wisteria was wild and woolly. It grew to epic proportions our first summer in the home, and we had to trim it back several times.
On this particular trimming back of the wisteria, I noticed that perhaps the shrubbery in the front of the house needed trimming and shaping up a bit. Had I ever done this before??? Well, no... Did I know how to trim shrubs? Absolutely not. But I just started working and shaping with the inexpensive manual clippers, not knowing all the while if I was doing it properly or if it would look alright. And I guess they turned out alright, but it was my first lesson in trimming holly bushes - prickly job, I must say. And I learned that day that the trimming is only half the job; when that part's done, you still have to pick up all the clippings.
Yesterday, I got out my handy clippers - the same ones I used eight years ago for my first clipping experience - and went to work on the hollies in my front flower beds. We have three large holly bushes that have thrived. In fact, they have thrived to the point I had to get out the fifteen foot ladder to trim the tops of them. As I worked, I thought back to my first trimming job at my first little house on Patti Court in Montgomery. I thought about how much things had changed since those days of being a novice in so many areas of my life - a novice shrub trimmer, still a newlywed, a first time home owner, and a new parent. And then I thought about how little things have changed at all...
I am still a novice. I still feel from day to day that I am pulling out my clipping shears for the first time, getting my hands in those prickly holly bushes, working the blades, all the while not knowing what the end result will be. It's funny being an adult. I never thought while I was in the middle of those years where you long for your adulthood to come that I'd still be flying by the seat of my pants in so many different areas of my life at the ripe old age of thirty-two. Nearly every week a new circumstance arises - one which I have never experienced before. And as an adult, I am forced to roll my sleeves up and figure it out, most of the time working through the problem blindly, never knowing what lies ahead or what the best solution will be. It's just like trimming the holly... just like it.
So, the tallest holly in my front bed has grown to at least ten feet tall. And it had this one stalk right in the middle of the top I couldn't quite figure out how to reach. But I kept working around it, and I finally had to pull out a little saw of some sort and just work on this thick stalk until I could break it off. I just can't put into words the sense of accomplishment I felt once I had trimmed those three bushes. Just can't say.
The holly may be bigger, but I'm still working with the same clippers, and they work just as well. And I'll continue to find new ways to accomplish the same old tasks - even it if means a fifteen foot ladder, a saw, and some sore muscles the next day. I'll keep trimming and shaping and picking up the clippings left behind.