I am a ‘can I go out to play’ sort of gardener and also a very sweaty one and all together look like someone you would not like to met ANYWHERE at ANYTIME! Because once the flies get going I also swear liberally and with gusto – but that is not the only therapy. For when all the sweat and swearing has finished and you have a shower and scrub your filthy feet then make a nice cup of tea and your face has lost its drunken flush you wander out to see what was achieved. A patch of nice clear rich brown soil planted with three lilies saved from imminent destruction in B & Q. I hope they will be part of a red/yellow/orange section of the border. But the most theraputic part of this bit of gardening was digging and tearing out a plant I thought was rather pretty and has turned out to be an invasive, treacherous wicked fiend who tramples over all around and about and wipes them out. But no more I now have its number and from now on it will NOT be allowed to wander far. In truth I have gone right of the damn thing and will eventually get rid of any bits lurking anywhere! So beware.
Yep, that little bit of brown soil is all I’m going on about!
I’m not sure whether to write this next bit but its part of how it is. As I ripped and dug and pulled out the roots of this plant, I thought of cancer. My husband died of cancer and I miss that man almost unbearably at times I sometimes wonder how I go on breathing but I do and will until my time comes. So I garden with joy and sorrow for both of us. He was a painter and I know his easel would have been outside all this wonderful summer and with great energy, skill and colour he would have been totally engaged in catching the vibrant days this sizzling summer has produced (and done a quick cartoon of his glamourous wife busy digging, sweating and swearing ) and both of us thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
If you are lucky enough to have a life you should live it as full and as honestly as you can – that is what I have to repeat to myself daily and I can hear Colin in my head and feel him in my heart just steadily willing me onwards and upwards.
What is your therapy for those hard days or do you just grit your teeth and hope the morrow will dawn with a brighter light.
….. I try not to be deviated from my intended pursuit. But it is so easy to be deviated. But once you do wander away from your intentions well, its just a jungle of information, facts, people, opinions most of them fascinating and stimulating BUT unless I have put aside the time to pursue this labyrinth of new stuff my day just disappears puff all into the NET. I emerge blinking, brain fizzing and very confused. I only wanted to find out a bit more about snowdrops! As in the garden we have 3 species the pretty little usual one, one with a double centre and the adorable frilly petalled one in the photo. But I was pathetic and gave in to peering at other alluring stuff which has got me nowhere except to once more proclaim I am but a speck of dust in this wonderful world. So be it.
But even a speck of dust has to settle somewhere and luckily I am very settled (and quite safe from a fevered keen dust remover). My home is surrounded by my garden which is surrounded by a very beautiful aged stone wall. We are having the most stunning weather at the moment – clear blue sky, no wind, the air is cold and on waking everywhere outside is covered in sparkling frost. Just what I needed to inspire me to garden.
My raised beds are being dug and weeded, the shrubs are having hair cuts (quite major in some cases). Now is the time to get into those jungle areas and clear out brambles and nettle patches. Because I have lived here for 10 years I know the bits I want to be quite brutal with and the areas I will just tidy a bit. I also know that once the growing season starts in earnest to clear/or tidy is much harder. I am not a serious gardener but love ‘playing outside’ – if the weather is fine I want to be outside. In a perfect world I’d have a big swimming pool so between bouts of gardening I could float about in water. Of course the total dream would be to have a simple house by a (warm) sea where I could grow tomatoes, peppers, aubergines etc. etc. outside
then flop into the sea and gently swim, then sit on my cool terrace and knit, listening to music. Bliss.
But where I am is where I am and I feel very grateful for the very pleasant structure I have around me. The loss of my beloved husband is part of why I feel so strongly the need to achieve as much as I can with this next (last) part of my life. He was not one to sit about and bemoan facts you cannot change. So while all my faculties are still functioning I will try to create a life full of positives because in my head and heart I hear his voice saying ‘come on, what’s next?’ plus of course a big hug and a gently kiss.
I had no idea the Christmas rollercoaster had flatten me – in fact late last night I was feeling pretty pleased with myself – I wasn’t drunk, I didn’t feel too bloated, I’d seen some good (recorded) programmes on TV. This was a Christmas I really struggled with and it was over. So good job done, pat on the back and off to bed.
But that was yesterday and this is today Boxing Day (please leave me in the box and close the lid). Why? I have no idea. Outside is a perfectly clear blue sky, underfoot the ground is still hard with frost. In fact now I think about it the perfect Boxing Day weather. But my spirits are tired and I can only think the reason being I was so concerned about getting ‘through’ Christmas that all my energy has been drained.
But I know someone who will drag me up and out. The dog. My faithful friend chosen by my husband in 2008 ‘to keep you company after I’ve died’. Not much of a substitute I thought miserably but actually he is a wonderful companion. I talk and he listens, I cry and he says not a word but carries on with his pursuits, then he does something daft and I laugh. I am still alive to feel and think and react and slowly, slowly my grief is finding its place in my psyche. I will not be rollercoasted by anything or anyone. My life has been such a joy shared with Colin. I will not sully those memories of all our passion, fun and sorrows with the inability to cope with the ripping agony of grief. One step at a time and gently go forward. Do not be afraid to rest and reflect but then gently onwards.
I greatly benefit from loving close family and fantastic angelic friends and of course, a dog who believes I am IT ‘the best thing since sliced bread’!!!
And a BusPass for which I have many a plan come the new Year . As the days draw out and Spring invites us all to marvel at her new ravishing collection of colour and form I hope to be waving my little card and meeting new people and seeing new sights through eyes and ears aglow with the joy of life.
OK dog drag me out and get me going, please!