I adore my garden. It feeds my soul.
But it’s a rediscovered joy, a pleasure I’m relearning. And the garden here in the TinyTrainHouse is so gorgeous.
It’s soothing, and calming, not even always to work and scrape gritty dirt underneath my fingernails, but simply to wander in the greenery; often, ashamedly, cigarette in hand… pausing to tease strand-like roots of newly shot weeds from my veggie patch. Breathing in the heaven scent of jasmine and lilies, eucalypt and climbing violets, clay soil soaked with fresh rain fall. Absorbing almost by osmosis the calm and open peacefulness, appreciating the supine thrum of the very slowest, steadiest rhythm ever known or felt- the growth of plants, the stretching of membranes and waters into leaves and buds.
The umbilical heartbeat of the Earth.
In my garden, I find myself in state that’s rare and complicit for me… able to make plans for the future, grand as I wish, without being crippled by the anxiety of achieving them, of not being able to work fast enough, of not having enough hands to be as productive as I wish to be.
Anxiety bred of excitement, rather than apprehension steeped in worry and insecurity or dragging guilt. In my mind they are almost as common as one another.
But in my backyard, in my little patch of land, I am able to harness the daydreams and structures my mind weaves and creeps on it’s own latticework into someday-maybe-oneday-projects, things that will get done in their own sweet time.
There are seedlings to sprout, corn and sweet basil to simmer spaghetti sauces. Leaves to be raked, sticks to be picked up. (“Put the stick down, Chop. We do not play with sticks”). Unruly new spring growth that needs to be cut back and untangled from an arbor that is reaching to tendril through my clothesline; pretty climbing vines dripping with purple flowers, the weight of which causes my old wooden fence to lean and lag and inch itself closer and closer to horizontal.
I have plans for a pair of laying chooks; for climbing beans and snapdragons in a rainbow of colours. I also the proud owner of a tiny, oddly shaped front yard which, although quite pretty by any horticultural standard I kept in my Purple Life, seems barren and disorganised in comparison to the planned but overflowing lushness of my macarthur park backyard… and I have plans to fix that.
But all these dot points on my mental list of Things That Should Be Done are floating, unstructured pencil plans, worked within a rough time frame of ‘sometime soon’ and laced with only the tiniest urgency, driven by the anticipation of pleasure and satisfaction more than any driving need to prove myself, any desperate urge to keep busy.
It feels as if this garden is a lesson for me, a kinetic tutorial from the universe. That compliant, steady hum of the world, the lubdub of growing things… it is, quite literally, an impossibility to rush things, to hurry the earth along. I cannot force my flowers to fruit… I cannot make the sky cease raining on my freshly planted seeds, washing away my hard work.
But as long as there is soil there, no one can stop me sowing them all over again. It just may be a matter of waiting until the season is right… seedlings lingering curled in the dark, holding out for the sun to shine again.