It has been funny (*insert your own adjective*) old year. When it came to client gifts I wanted to send something that considered the – frankly bizarre – last 12 months, but also put some focus on the future. No pressure then.
On contemplation, I had a number of options for the etc 2020 Christmas ‘merch’. Facemasks would have been depressingly obvious, or I suppose I could have gone down the route of jogging bottoms – since comfort dressing has surely become something of the norm for home working – but asking clients for their waist size might have led to a rather quiet January. Instead, I opted for a set of beautiful secateurs.
As an analogy, a pair of secateurs could appear rather too close to the knuckle given their association with cutting, reducing, clearing out and tidying.
But I see the process of pruning as something else.
Pruning is about applying some order after the frantic growth of the previous season. About a change of pace that allows you to reflect.
Pruning can, and should, be meditative. It involves reflecting on the shape you want to achieve, seeing past the tangle in front of you and then slowly, and thoughtfully, re-shaping. You don’t rush, you don’t hack and you regularly step back to check you’re making the right decisions.
And it involves faith. Faith that reducing branches and removing old growth that flowered so abundantly will in fact mean that your plant is more healthy and will grow back.
More than anything else, using secateurs is a statement of optimism. It’s a commitment to the future, and belief that your garden will come through the apparent dormancy of winter and flourish all over again. But in the next season it will be stronger, in the shape you wanted and more beautiful and productive than before.
Looked at another way, this gift is just a damn fine pair of secateurs and a rather lovely bit of engineering. I’ve used an identical pair to these for the last four years and they are the best I’ve ever had.
No matter if they are keen gardeners or prefer to sit in the garden with a G&T, I hope my clients will find a use for these meditative, optimistic and ruthlessly sharp blades.
Have a brilliant Christmas. Make sure you enjoy the break.
P.S – Rambling On lands for the last time in 2020 this Friday, then it will be back in January, packed full of business ‘stuff’ that leaders will hopefully find useful, entertaining or enlightening. You can sign up to receive it, here.