I love colour…
Take Cabbage. People tend to associate Cabbage with a ‘boring’ food. Just look at it growing in a new light though, and the rich purple contrasts against green in the most vibrant way.
Thankfully, Spring is here. Admittedly, it’s been a turbulent one so far, with its surprise snow, and determined angstsy rainstorms. But when is life not like that!? Welcome the storms of ice, rain, sunshine, sand and rainbow…
It’s time to see the colour in the so called ‘mundane’, once again!
So, I have realised today, that it’s about time I started digging again. Digging properly, digging for me, and for the sake of future flowers/food.
I also need to begin writing again. Writing properly. Writing for me, and for any others who are interested, or happen to relate to any of the issues I find myself blogging about, over the months.
Months, in the past tense, being felt by their very own- memory hoarding piece of Neurological equipment, if you like- as though having passed, in the way of being ‘lost at sea’, and totally at the mercy of the waves.
See when I try to remember, in any kind of meaningful, contingent or chronological manner, the streetlight like glow, of the traumatic events which turned last year into a living nightmare for me, it isn’t exactly a straightforward process.
Perhaps with more time (admittedly, time truly can prove to be a fairly decent Nurse), those memories will begin to feel less raw. Then, perhaps, they could manage to form some kind of structure. Such as a pattern of rocks, washed up on a beach.
Until then, it would appear, my life and the words which seem to need writing, will have to crack on. In a positive, and productive way. So, let’s begin with the latest Dig for Victory style project!
Over March, and now that the so called ‘beast from the east’ and other snow related weather events, are seemingly hushed for now, I intend to try my luck at creating as much ‘garden’ and growing space, as possible, using only a very limited space, which is technically just a balcony.
I will have to think of inventive ways, to build what should look, feel, and hopefully, function as, a small garden, upon something which feels more like a windowsill, than an allotment, let’s face it.
Watch this space, I therefore add!
For there will be pictures of an on-going process, which hopefully can succeed, in turning a canvas of predominantly, grey emptiness, into a vibrant and green honey bee’s playground (sorry neighbours… Bees were here first, and the honey they make is well worth having to see more of them ‘buzzing around’).
Watering cans. I am going to need watering cans, and LOTS OF THEM! But first, it will probably make sense to reclaim the plant pots!
I have just left a kind of prison. I was never arrested, charged, tried or convicted. Yet still, for three months of my life, I lived, ‘imprisoned’. While I write this, I even ask myself: Do I mean this metaphorically? Initially, yes, I did. Then I reflect, on how I have lived, for those three small months.
Those months should have felt small, and they were (or will be) ‘small’, in the long run. In years to come, they will shrink down in significance, and the ‘footprint’ left by their boot, will be scaled into something similar to insignificance, by the great, green, giant months, which I will plant, and bring into full bloom, starting from today.
The day I moved out of that ‘homeless person’s temporary, interim accommodation’. A tower block, stretched like a club, into the sky. Not like the intricate, webbed branches of Trees, which seem to sing into the sky. No, the Tower Block pounds into the horizon like a ‘Thud’. The life within mine was stale.
Try comparing that to the life of an old Oak! Those Acorns are only part of the reason, that the Oak Tree harbours life, so much the opposite of stale. Try asking a Squirrel: “Oh, Squirrel, sir? Erm, I was wondering, who are you going to be feeding that nut to?”. To be frank, you might actually get more of an answer out of the Squirrel in your mind’s eye now, than you would get for an answer attempted by those empty, personless walls, around you in a Tower Block flat, or ‘holding cell’, while you wait to be rescued by the chance of a new home.
So no, I don’t mean ‘prison’, in the sense that I was literally behind bars. There is a darker, sadder, story behind my ending up in such a desperate place, though. I was a victim, yet in the (endless) months which followed the attack, I felt as though I were the one, being punished. Playing ‘prisoner’, while I await that trial, while I wait for the day some Crown Court Judge can somehow ‘lift’, from my shoulders, spirit and heart, that weight, the crushing weight, of dark cloud looming.
I am now free of the Tower Block ’emergency accommodation’. Now, I have a space, where I can begin to sleep again, live again, sing again, dance again, work again…
But most of all, now I have a place where I can GARDEN AGAIN!
The truth about the lost car keys, dawns upon me…In the flowerbed I was trying to uproot a stubborn Dandelion in, back in about June this year. I didn’t have a trowel to hand at the time, and obviously thought I’d improvise… and this is probably why I’ve not seen my car keys since around June!
Note to self- think it through, and next time, take a garden basket for actual garden tools (excluding self).
Currently, if the state of my allotment and garden were recognised by the medical profession, as being acceptable diagnostic tools for determining state of mind, and a certified means of determining a ‘healthy psychological bill of health’, then i’d make easy work for any kind of Psychiatrist, I imagine.
Over the past six months, there have been many different events, stresses, overgrown and domineering thoughts, which have accumulated without due intervention and control, in my mind, wrecked havoc on my mental health, and my ability to ‘see’ or ‘think’ clearly. I’m thankfully beginning to make progress, towards the goal of recovery in mental, and physical health, now.
Part of this journey towards recovering, has included suddenly being able to notice, and reflect on things again. This is both good and bad- it’s reassuring and hopeful to realise I must be moving away from a negative place, because I can suddenly see quite clearly, the areas of my life and the passions enjoyed through living, which have suffered neglect.
It’s daunting, to be able to look at the overgrowth, the ‘jungle’ left to grow wild, and the flower beds without flowers, which currently shape the canvas of my allotment. Yet at the same time, it is exciting and positive, when taking into account the ‘bigger picture’ this paints. The garden endeavors.
Hinting at the prospect of the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, nearing achievement of wellness, I have to concede, while humbling, and fairly worrying, the realisation there is a mess to address, left in the wake of my mind’s little rampage and attempt at self-destruction, surely surpasses the short term moment of panic, in this story.
Imagine if all of us busy, full time working, thinking, feeling, hearing, social networking, living, breathing, sleeping people in this world, were able to find the time and the resources to be able to ‘dig for victory’ for our mental and physical health. Then have the means to look back at the ever shifting landscape of a garden/outdoor space, which we create, sustain and maintain over a number of years.
It’s funny to wonder if this would put Psychiatrists, Doctors, Therapists, self-help books and more, out of a job!
Obviously, there are practical obstacles which get in the way of having time to tend to nature- work, and living in a flat/having no outdoor space, coming to mind first as being just a few of them. It’s all well and good knowing that ‘to spend time outdoors’, in ‘fresh air’ and with Radishes growing out of your fingernails, you’re so ‘in touch with nature’, as a means to recovering mentally and physically from illness, if you couldn’t even fit a plantpot on your windowsill, or hospital bed, for that matter, if you tried.
But there are ways– and you know what they say about ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’… Personally, I think that saying works out both ways around- where there is a way, there will be a will.
Having the will to work towards the way in the first place, feels more like an oppressive reminder, of just how hard it can be to regain that will/motivation/drive, when you’ve lost sight of what it even means, feels like, or represents.
‘Will’ or ‘willpower’. The idea that you might need this first, before you can make your way to progress, might serve only to make someone feel more powerless, more trapped.
‘Means’ or ‘way’. As it happens, even when there isn’t a will, there is still a way. Sometimes, we know of many such ‘ways’ already.
When I have found myself ‘lost’ in the petrifying stomach of Depression, or other such ‘adventures’ in mental illness, I am only too aware of WHAT I have to do, to reignite the wick which fires up my will.
Sometimes, we need a bit of help, when emerging, confused, scared, and downright vulnerable. As it happens, we do still know, deep within us, what ‘the way’ is. It’s never this straight forward (typically) though we understand.
Assorted gardening and allotment snippets!
Source: Digging for victory