I planted four tomato plants this year. In no time at all they grew thick and tall. Before long, the vines reached the top of their five foot cages. Tiny green spheres began to appear, although they were a little hard to see among the leaves. Then, sadly, the leaves began to sport pink spots, spots of a shade I would have considered quite lovely if they didn’t signal pending tomato plant doom.
A little research proved helpful—it’s most likely a fungus that thrives when there’s not enough light and air reaching the plant. (Read that as “too thick, too tall, and too many leaves.”) The solution? Start ripping off all the spotted leaves. Then take out any healthy leaves that make the plant look crowded. (Two weeks ago, I would have used the word “lush.”)
So, with some hesitation, I followed the rules. Now, while my plants have a better chance of survival and are actually bearing more red little tomatoes, they just aren’t a lot to look at. And next week I will probably have to take out more leaves. The pruning process is a bit painful, and the result, for the time being, is a bit ugly.
Light and air. We need that too. How’s your schedule looking these days, my friends? We need actual sunlight and fresh air. If you’re like me, you are tempted to look at time basking in the sun as an indulgence, one you are loathe to allow yourself if there’s work to be done. Wrong perspective! You need the vitamin D and all the other benefits the sun and a bit of a break provide. And you need to remember that taking care of yourself is part of your responsibility as a child of God.
We also need to be humble enough to prune. It’s so easy to be proud of all we fit into our days, all that we accomplish, the number of calls and emails we put out, the number of people we influence … But pride can go before a fall into exhaustion! (I’m warning myself even as I warn you.) Please, please, make sure you have the humility to prune, to take away some of those lush, beautiful things in your life that, despite your love for them, may lead to a lesser life both for you and for those you love. (More on that next week.)
Today, I hope you’ll get outside a bit, and that you’ll take a set aside some time to rid your schedule of any “pink fungus.” My love to you all, Brenda
Photo by Marcus Spiske via Unsplash.com