I forgot everything but the microcosm of life before me, the afternoon sun lovingly warming my back, the blades of grass tickling my ankles and the smile on my face as I felt the old familiar joy of dirt under my fingernails.
It seems that my life has revolved around the garden in one way or another. I suppose that it was always fated that it would with both my grandmothers being avid gardeners; for necessity in providing for their family, and for celebrating the beauty of the bloom. My parents have always surrounded our home with plants, trees to bring shade in this sometimes sun beaten land, and blossoms for colour in our dark green world.
I don't remember the first time I planted something of my own, but as a child most photos of me reveal that I was never far from a flower. Even now, the gift that is most guaranteed to bring a smile to my face is a bunch of blooms.
|A seven year old me.|
At that age gardening for me was a hobby born from both curiosity, an endless hunger for more and more knowledge about anything I could get my hands on, or my mind into; and also from the fact that I was very uncomfortable amongst my peers. At that age most of my friends were characters from the stacks of books I voraciously devoured weekly. Many of these books focused on some sort of magic, in particular magic of the natural world and I suppose that also stirred me on to get out into the garden.
As an adult the garden to me is ripe with metaphors (if you will excuse that awfully obvious pun), and it seems particularly poignant now, at the not so fresh start of the new year, to be discarding that which I planted last year to begin again. Today while I was removing the remains of some pea plants that did not thrive under my care, it came to me that sometimes in life it does not matter how much you try to foster some things, they are not meant to grow. You can tend to love, and try to bring a heart to life, but if it does not come from fertile ground and your conditions are not ideal to its particular temperament, it will not stay yours for long no matter how hard you try.
Removing last season's radicchio plants brought to mind the old adage 'there is a season for everything', I think this is true for emotion too. There was a season, a lovely long season for rejoicing in love, and the shiny promise that it brought to even everyday matters, there was a season for mourning the love that was lost, through no fault, and now a season for healing and bringing back to life all that has lain dormant for so long and fostering the new growth.
There are all manner of lessons waiting in my garden, and I am a willing student.
Yours, from the vegetable patch,