Hello Garden

Hello Garden. I thought I'd write you a letter, seeing as I spend so little time touching you lately. I haven't forgotten you, in fact I think of you every day. I watched you and planned for your next shapes through the rain, through the miasma of suspected croup, suspected impetigo, suspected chest infection, definite hail and now I watch you as I feed the chooks and think of you as I seem to cram in everything else which was neglected and yet still neglect you, my favourite.

You are still so generous. I've dug potatoes, cut broccoli, picked stalks and sprigs of celery, kale, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and chives throughout the week. I dug yams and realised I must slow down and be patient. It must be winter proper, not winter early, before I harvest the yams. We had a frost yesterday - Favourite Handyman found the water sitting atop the chicken coop and the trampoline frozen. The vista of bright orange chillis nestled in amongst the celery and the kale that morning was especially beautiful. I felt like I had built a perfect cradle to protect the chilli plant.

You, my garden, are the centre of the independence days project which many bloggers whom I read seem to be focusing on this Autumn. But I've had some spectacular failure of common sense in the midst of some of this back to basics stuff. I was cooking up some old swede, some kitchen scraps and some kibbled rye for the chooks yesterday and it didn't just go pear shaped, it went carcinogenic almost insurance pay out black. Namely because I turned it down on low and thought I turned it off before I went out driving in the sunshine. But, um, I didn't. Boy did the house stink when I got home. Thankfully, incredibly utterly thankfully, there had been a lot of water in the pot and it hadn't got to the stage where it caught fire and the house burnt down. Thankfully indeed. This is not as bad as the day my daughter escaped out onto the main state highway when I was paying insufficient attention, but neither does it rate as remotely sensible.

I have been playing round with some indoors independence skills stuff while it is dark, while you sleep my garden. I'm still knitting my vest. I've been inspired by some of the very beautiful craft work on blogs I read to play aorund with a little fancying-up of Brighid's lovely denim dress from the Sallies. It is a Pumpkin Patch, probably quite a few seasons ago and it is gorgeous but for drab mottley brown buttons. So I have bought some bold red smiley face buttons and am part way through sewing these on. Yes I will get the camera out. I have got my sewing machine fixed and today I bought a pattern for a dress for our friend Alice who turns six soon. I thought it would be a good oppportunity for me to have go sewing something as a present, seeing as I have lots of fabric to play with. Maybe I will do a dress, maybe a swirly skirt. At first I chose some blue material but now I am looking at the bold 80s sweatshirting material and wondering about using that instead. I recall dimly that back then people did classes in sewing with this new fabric and I should set the tension differently? Me and tension on my sewing machine have a shakey and indeed tense relationship at the best of times. I'm going to finish the buttons first.

Work is using up a pile of my thought processes of late, which is okay. I never think work spent empowering our young people is wasted effort. There is a call for expressions of interest in trades academies throughout the country. These would indeed provide for some development of useful, practical life skills in our next generation. I'm swept up in the excitement and the minutae of planning the how and the what of having a trades academy here on the West Coast.

Down at the league sideline this evening, I felt like this was sort of the essence of my life at the moment. We walked down in crisp air but lovely, lowering sunshine just before 5pm. Fionn wore some fabulous trainers gifted by a friend with an older child, Brighid called out to the other children and wanted to follow Fionn onto the field. I recognised more and more other parents and noted how our community has rallied around to help coach our wee kids, the under sevens. Our beloved coach Tommo cannot be there every week any more because the mines have changed shifts in order to keep it going - someone in Hong Kong has a huge mortgage over Spring Creek and s/he/they cannot get their pound of flesh unless the mine runs 24/7. The air got colder and colder but the prospect of going home and cooking, lighting the fire and generally being 'good' could not compete with the more delicious fun of catching up with another friend, one of my first friends here in Small Wet Town. We hid in the car and watched out at the kids. I saw Favourite Handyman arrive and stand close to the kids, chatting with other Dads, sharing stories not just of league, but of other projects in our town, more things to try and support our bigger kids who are in far more trouble than the tiny tots jumping and jumbling round the league field, by this time under flood lights.

So, my garden, you are always in my thoughts, but there is some competition. I would like to be with you tomorrow, but we have an extra two year old which we are looking forward to in the morning, and then in the afternoon we will be down at the league field again, this time cheering on the school cross-country. Time in the garden moves slowly at this time of the year and a weekend always follows a Friday. We will meet, converse more intimately, reform each other, soon.


Sharonnz said…
Love your words.
Thank you Sharon. I finally got a little nmore action than mere words today - hopefully I get that up in a blog post at some point.

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