1 a : to reduce especially by eliminating superfluous matter b : to remove as superfluous
2 : to cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth
intransitive verb : to cut away what is unwanted or superfluous
– prun·er noun
I like pruning. There’s something liberating(and campy: think Mommie Dearest)about attacking a small tree or shrub with heavy hedge clippers. I like the sunshine on my back and shoulders, the tremors in my forearms when I take a break. I enjoy taking a step back and seeing the pleasant shape that emerges from overgrown greenery.
When I was young, I had few outlets. I could write maudlin poetry and creepy stories. I could dive into a novel. I could while away hours on the phone with friends, both loyal and deceptive. These days, there are a dozen ways I work out the stress of my job. I can run, dance, cook, clean, pray, read, write, hang with the dogs, go online, walk, shop, and watch junk TV. Then there’s the one-two punch of gardening and Pilates.
Pilates is a good exercise for me. It promotes relaxation and concentration. I can’t quite bitch about how much my quads hurt because I’m busy exhaling. I get to work on my core, which under my layer of baby fat, is quite strong. I get to prune away all those excess thoughts.