Doing less and playing in the paddling pool (and getting dirt under my fingernails in the garden) are definitely good for the brain. It has time to breathe, and come up with good ideas, and even admit shocking truths to itself…
I have had an allotment here in the village for 4 or 5 years, and had another near our old house for 5 or 6 years before that. It was never the most beautiful or well-tended, but it was productive and I enjoyed being there. But, between a home-based business and a busy boy to look after, the village allotment has been getting more and more on top of me, and 3 months of solid rain have not been kind either! Frankly, it’s a mess, and every time I’ve been there recently it has just made me sad, not to mention disheartened by all the work there is to be done.
I realise what I am about to say may not be shocking to anyone except me, but it’s taken me at least 2 years to admit this: a whole allotment 10 minutes’ walk away from home is too much for me at this point in life. I wouldn’t admit it before because I thought that would mean giving up growing things, and I wasn’t prepared to do that; it’s a thing I need to do.
But then I sat in my garden at home one evening, alone, as the sun went down. And the garden told me that it had room for a few vegetable beds, and I didn’t need to give up my dream; I could bring it home.
So plans are afoot for some radical changes in our little garden over the next couple of months. I will take and post pictures – something I’m very bad at doing – because I want to document this change which took so much time and mental wrangling to come into being.
I wonder how many other dreams could be realised if we’re gentle to them and consider how we can ‘bring them home’ to make them manageable and achieveable? Maybe taking time to allow the brain to work is the first step.