• July 25, 2012

Should we Cut the Hydrangeas?

by Father Thierry de Roucy, July 2012
“Yesterday, a three-hundred year old plum tree, stricken by a wave, blossomed in Yamada-Machi, in the prefecture of Iwate. While listening to the news on the radio, I was overwhelmed with such joy that I was ready to dance.”
(M. Ferrier, Fukushima. The Story of a Disaster)

This year the weather in Upstate New York was very unusual for the month of February. It was more like spring­time! We were even able to have lunch out­side once or twice. But this did not last for long. Shortly after, came the snow, fol­lowed by sun­shine, frost and end­less showers…

It was dis­con­certing. Should we put away the winter things, leave the garden fur­ni­ture out­side, start some seedlings?

Nature seemed to be as lost as we were and seemed not to know what to do; do we let the buds come out… do we wait for a little while… and what about flowers? Thus, it was somehow a dis­aster: the frost destroyed many buds, the flowers were ruined… It was painful to see the row of hydrangeas in front of the house. It was reduced to a hedge of dry branches. The cold had killed all the early buds. Some people advised us to cut at the root and to let nature resume its work. But I was deter­mined to wait despite the little hope; I didn’t want three years of growth to just dis­ap­pear like that! And all of a sudden, though very late, some new buds and leaves and flowers started to appear on these dry branches… A mir­acle!

Today some of the branches remain simple sticks… Every day we try to detect some kind of life, a rebirth. This is our pas­sion.

Our pas­sion is the pas­sion of every Heart’s Home; we want to be poor gar­deners looking out for small shoots; we want to believe, despite all oppo­si­tion, in the vic­tory of life; we want to believe that the everyday love and care can create mir­a­cles… Tomorrow nothing will have been destroyed and our garden will be nothing but a flower.

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