We cut down the giant forsythia next to our back porch.
The bush had grown wild and tangled though each year I’ve tried to sort things out, trimming here and there, pruning without knowledge which is a difficult and usually futile endeavor.
This spring, after the brilliant flash of yellow that is forsythia blooming, it became clear that many branches were dying or near death. Still, the bush sheltered our back porch, increasingly a place of refuge and contemplation during our seemingly endless grounding – which, if you think about it, can be taken two ways.
So my husband took the big shears to the bush, one dead branch after another, then a couple of live ones, finally making an enormous heap that we had to drag to the curb. At the base, there was rot. Two bushes, planted God knows when, before we bought the house 37 years ago, had both rotted at their core.
Pulling the branches down the driveway, I thought – this is a metaphor for what is happening all over the country right now – finally realizing the branches are dead, the roots have rotted, and we have to chop the bush down to the ground and start over. We will need to plant something new but we don’t know what that should be yet.