Don’t Look Down! By Peter Pearson

Surprising Relationship Lesson from a Palm Tree Pruner

It’s not about pruning things away…

My wife, Ellyn, and I recently had a bit of a getaway. It was a lovely time to refocus, reprioritize, and regenerate. 

One day on our vacation, on our way back to our room from the beach, we spotted a gardener working on the trees in the area. He deftly climbed to the top of the tall, thin palm trees lining the hotel’s pathways to prune the dying branches at the top. 

His movements were fearless. 

After watching him work on a few trees, my curiosity peaked. How could this man climb so effortlessly? These trees were thin and could often be seen swaying wildly in the wind. 

So, I waited for him to finish his latest tree and asked him if he was always fearless about heights. 

He said no. He was completely scared when he started. 

This sparked my curiosity. So, I asked him, “If you were scared initially, how long did it take you to adjust and become so fearless?”

“Three months.” 

I inquired if anyone had taught him how to climb and coached him on how to approach the trees. 

“Nope, I learned this myself by doing it.”

I had to know how this man could overcome his fears and grow to be such an accomplished climber. 


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Peter Pearson
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