Thursday, 9 March 2017

A Snapshot of My Life, and how to be reminded of the good

Here is a photo I took this morning of my garden, I took it whilst watering it, well a small part of it. Today I am having a rare experience, I’m here at home, alone. No husband, no baby. Such space both physically and mentally has allowed me to have a more significant than usual experience of deep thoughts gently rising to the surface in my mind. The thought, or rather, string of thoughts that went to form an idea that paints an extremely cathartic tableau. Let me explain what they were and I ask that you too take a snapshot of your life and do the same. It will help you to connect with your personal strength and spiritual nature.

You’re going to have to keep looking at the picture above for this, I’m going to walk you around.
Starting at the front of the picture, look at what is growing. Beans and nasturtiums intertwined, radish and self-seeded nettle. Overlooking this healthy scene are two metal magpies, purchased last weekend from a trip to see open gardens in Richmond. Separating the garden from the house area is a wire fence, on the other side of that you notice the front wall of the house is blue and against that blue wall is a bbq. Righto that is enough for now. Let me explain how each one of these features shows me just who I am now and how much I have changed in a very positive way.

The garden, I love gardening and it is in my Irish blood and it was in my nana’s too and I have gardened in some way or other my whole life. Over all these years I have acquired many skills and finally I think I am getting there with the relatively recent goal (perhaps 5-7 years old) of mine to grow as much food of my own as possible. I did think it was about being self-reliant and I did think it was about ensuring I had a ready supply of nutrient dense food and I did think it was about some sort of personal biosecurity and it is, but I realise now it is about so much more.

Having a garden that self-seeds, is nutrient dense, supplies a yield and follows permaculture principles does not happen overnight, it takes years to learn how and it takes countless hours to create. Looking at the garden and how healthy and happy the plants are I see reflected in that my ability to be resilient and to push on, to try and try again.

Those recently purchased magpies (aren’t they lovely!) are in our garden because my husband Nick bought them. We went, as a family, on an open gardens day last weekend and he saw that many people had them in their gardens. He saw the little shop where they were sold, made my a local chap. So now we have two of them and four faery wrens. My husband is my second husband and there is no way my first husband would have said ‘hey, tomorrow, let’s go as a family to see the open gardens in Richmond. The money goes to epilepsy Tasmania and I’ll do everything. You just relax and come along. It will be romantic.’ My husband is the most unselfish, loving, giving, patient, thoughtful, hardworking, kind and wise man I know. I, am married to him and we are best friends. When I look at those magpies I see reflected in them my ability to choose a relationship that is truly loving and respectful.  It took years!

The wire fence was built by my husband, yes, the man mentioned above. It is strong and it is well built, it is also ascetically pleasing and it also keeps the cats in the yard. He didn’t just build it, he consulted with me. What do I want and why? Do you want to be able to see through it? How big will the garden bed behind it be? When I look at that fence I see reflected in it my ability to collaborate with someone else and I see that I know what I need to do and what I need to do.

The blue house wall, not just any wall but the front of the house. It is blue! It has a shattered mirror art installation on it, it has cobwebs on it, the sky is often the same colour. When I was a child I was not allowed to alter my environment and certainly, certainly not go around painting the front of the house bright blue. This restriction on self-expression was more than vigilantly imposed. Often it is not easy to externally express one’s inner nature. When everybody else has white walls or brown ones and you were brought up in an environment that is less than liberal your hand can remain stayed on the paintbrush over the bucket of bright blue paint. When I look at that blue wall I am reminded that I am a creative, an artist and that I find deep joy in colour and life and that I am now strong enough to simply be me, regardless of the so called social and family conditioning rules state.

Ah, the bbq, this is a nice one. The bbq was given to us a few weeks ago by a friend who was moving. It is her 40th this year and she did not want to celebrate. She is the most kind and generous person on the planet, really she is. So, I said to her, if we are to take the bbq you are to have a vegan bbq birthday party at our place with your friends. I’m so looking forward to her and her partner and some of their friends coming to our little home tomorrow to celebrate her 40th birthday. When I look at that bbq I am reminded that I have some very, very good friends in my life that mirror my own generosity and loyalty of spirit. I am a deeply generous person and I am loving and my friends are this too. I have the most wonderful friends!

In this picture there are so many more reminders of how good my life is and what it took for me to get there. Though as I said at the start, I’ll finish with the bbq. Never doubt that you are not moving forward. Look at a snap shot of your life and be reminded of what your life is and where you are going to bring yourself inspiration!

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