Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Don't you sometimes feel that certain things are all too hard, not in any serious way, just a kind of "bugger off and leave me alone" kind of way! For me, this always means it is time to head to the garden. It is good to spend time getting to know yourself and realising what your needs are. We can learn more from being outside than in, sometimes. There is the softer light of autumn, the fine misty rain we get at my place and the damp soil - all things that soothe the soul and bring my senses to life. There are seeds to sow, seedlings to tend and the sweet feel of water droplets on the leaves, the spider webs and trickling off my hat. I find that wearing my son Hugh's old scout hat when its raining makes gardening a lot easier than having water dripping down my hair and neck. I am not going to waste one minute of this wet weather! I love it; maybe its the Irish in me! Everything is green and lush and we have made it through another summer and can inwardly smile in the knowledge that it will not return for several months. In this photo you can see my kitchen bench a couple of weeks ago - full of produce, recipes and a reminder about doing something for the chooks. In the sieve are seeds from the stripy eggplant, drying. Other people pride themselves of the fact that their benches are completely clear of any sign of life. I do the opposite, as always!

The garlic is jumping out of the ground, the beetroot is ready to start picking and life really is so good. If only we could convince more people that THIS is life and can be the most stimulating, exciting, wonderful, peaceful and meaningful part of our lives and fill every cell of our bodies with fulfilment and purpose. Sharing a home-grown meal with good friends, in your home, by the fire, playing cards, laughing and carrying-on like there's no tomorrow is the best fun we can have. Who cares about what you are wearing or what car you came in or where you shop or what trivia you know about celebrities or sports stars? Not me. I only know that it is sad to see so many people fighting in wars that can never be won while others are so out of touch with the earth and themselves that they will never be happy.

There are so many stresses put onto us these days - climate change, peak oil, bio-diversity etc etc - all the things I go on about all the time on this blog and elsewhere. But I watched a thing on TV just now about an Australian bloke called Mark who finds himself when he is with his poultry. He wants to help save as many breeds as possible from extinction - very timely after Andrew's post the other day. He travels from Queensland down to Tasmania, calling on people and going to shows to see if he can find the old breeds. He suffers with depression and has found that being with his poultry is what he needs and in return he gives them what they need. It is like this with so many things that matter - give and take. And so it is with plants. They can supply us with food, beauty, shade and shelter but also with that connection to the earthiness of our souls - something prehistoric and wordless.

This morning, when I head off again to gardening at Glenys' lovely garden in the hills I will be thoroughly and indulgently happy. There I will spend a couple of hours doing whatever Glenys wants us to do in the garden, with the 5 of us connected in a special way to each other but also to Glenys' garden. It is a lovely thing to get to know other people's gardens over many years and to see the fruits of our labours as we go. We will then sit outside (if its not too wet) and have coffee and cake, basking in life.
Dare I say it again....life is good. Get there fast and then take it slow.
This cupboard is now completely full of preserves unlike when I took this photo a few weeks ago.


Veggie Gnome said...

Just curious - do you leave the clips on your jars?

That's a healthy looking pantry! :)

Kate said...

Not for long. I must have forgotten about them for a while I guess.I do have millions though because my father used to buy them at garage sales for me, even after I asked hime to stop!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate great blog,
thanks again for making that amazing pear tart today, We have just got home after a fundraising function for Ronald Macdonald House, great charity truely worthy of support, just have to leave my misgivings about Maccers
behind! anyway have just eaten the last piece of tart, thanks again for all your help today, thank God for Wednesdays and good friends,