You know, when you prune a fig, the cut smells just like figs. I kept smelling it. Wondered why I’d never noted that and wondered why it surprised me. With my favorite hand saw, I got into cutting today. Just the biggest or problem trunks on oakleaf hydrangea, rose of Sharon, almond bush, mume and figs. With my favorite hook billed pruning knife, I did some little stuff; perennial marigolds, mums, ginger lilies, elephant ears. This sunny, chilly afternoon seemed like a great time to be the pruning guy. Automatic, physical, rewarding. I can see what needs to go, how it will change things later and I’m totally absorbed; thinking, doing, planning, visualizing, questioning, chopping.
I sent off a manuscript to Timber Press this week. Jamie and I figure it’s about 400 hours worth of work. Chapters, tons of photos, captions, bibliography, resources all coordinated, synced, on paper, disk and thumb drive. Now, my baby is in their hands to be chopped, pruned, questioned and reviewed. It’s kind of hard, kind of left me with a hole of time to fill and wondering about what it becomes. Theoretically, I know it’s ok; it takes all that pruning and questioning, all those editors and arts people and professional references to make things better.
My team, my editors, my arts people chipped in today. Tom did lots more of the little stuff; making fine cuts, picking up cut sticks, tidying. He’s great at details. Momma did the heavy lifting and dragging to the fire pit. We tell her it’s good for her bones. Sugarbear barks at ghost. Whenever I’m sort of between projects, between pruning things, they help me fill up what seemed like a looming hole; they guide me to the next thing that needs pruning. “Jenks, get that chaste tree and that low limb on the crepe myrtle, and did you see……”