I love my garden – the smell of the flowers, the buzzing of the bees, the song of the birds. I love my veges, my flowers, the native animals that scamper amongst the undergrowth.
When I feel sad, I reconnect with life by planting something new. This week three new heritage Italian tomato seedlings were nestled into their new home in the vegetable beds in the front yard. When I am angry, I stomp around on the gravel paths, take a spade to the untamed earth and do some landscaping, or grin maniacally as I wrench errant weeds from the earth (which is extremely satisfying – you should try it). I now have two full wheelie bins ready for green waste collection day. (Our council also has recycle bin collection, which makes me a happy little eco bunny.)
I love writing. I have often used my garden as an analogy for my writing. When I scribble down story notes, I am sowing seeds. When I write my first draft, I am planting seedlings. When I am I editing ruthlessly (hopefully with the maniacal grin), I am pulling out weeds. Rewriting large swathes of manuscript is like taking a spade to entire garden beds, moving the soil around or throwing rocks aside in an attempt to change the landscape of the story.
Though most of the time I fly by the seat of my pants, allowing the ideas and words to flow, there is always a quiet voice tempting me to revise, restructure, to just take a peek at that last chapter and rewrite.
Maybe that explains why I cannot decide between my ordered Tuscan-style potted fruit trees and the rambling English country garden that self-seeds. Both create unexpected delights.
How can I choose one over the other when both provide such wondrous exhilaration – when both fill my soul with joy and keep me going, even in the darkest of times?
Of Gardening, Writing and Maniacal Grins.