I’ve just stepped back inside from the first quiet couple of hours in our garden this spring. Sitting there in a tshirt with a cup of coffee in the warm sunshine, I felt I was gasping for air after the suffocating long winter.
I’m not the only one, all of our plants are growing in unison faster than I remember as they race to catch up with the sudden warm spell. Where once were bare pots, plants exist. So much green. Flowers are coming and going and leaves are layering on top of one another. An eruption of life flowing over us.
Was it a longer winter or did I simply need spring to arrive more than normal? It was certainly a harsher winter. In some ways it caused me to forget the calm energy of our garden, the essence of its spirit. How much I needed it. Yet here it all was again, the leaves and shoots hidden below ground now pulsing with life. Curious little creatures flying and running about their daily business, a society on our patio.
Hope is a word often used in gardening. What is hope and how can a flower give it. Hope is a gamble, something out of our control, a sense hooked on wishful thinking. Nature is more generous than that. A garden coming to life is not hope but an invitation to better, exciting times ahead.
When I sit in our garden I don’t feel hope, I feel happy, safe and part of something. I feel what it means to be a gardener. Being a gardener is a gift, a role in the bigger picture.
Being a gardener today is a state of mind, it’s not just a job or a hobby. A gardener is observant and understanding, patient and nurturing. Looking at plants and the ecosystem they sit within to know the needs of the lives that create the whole.
Gardeners look to the future, planning ahead to give spaces the best opportunity and we know that we are connected to the results. Even when it was to stand back and do nothing.
I know my garden better than any space but it still has the ability to surprise and intrigue every day. It’s this constant change and unknown that has always kept me going, little moments of pure wonder. Spring is here and with it a rapid increase in those moments, impossible to capture, each one a hit of happiness.
“After everything that’s happened, how can the world still be so beautiful? Because it is.”
– Snowman, in Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood