I am on a small island in Croatia today. I have come to visit a friend who moved from Southern California to tend to an olive orchid that has been in her family for centuries. It is quiet here. On the island, time and priorities slow as activities are directed primarily by nature.
As we walk the orchid this morning, my friend explains that the green olives now hanging in abundance on the branches will turn black in just a few weeks and then the harvest will begin. Until then, the days will be spent pruning away the random branches that sprout from the trunk referred to by locals as “suckers.” Sucker branches drain the tree of needed nutrients and disrupt the flow of energy to the fruit bearing leaves. A good orchard tender, she explains, preserves the best of the tree.
Walking up the hill to examine the rest of the grove, I thought about my sucker branches. What I have created that takes energy from the greater fruits of my labor. I realize when I return, I have some pruning to do. But for today, I will enjoy the orchid.