It seems really poignant to be thinking about growth at the moment. Not just because of the time of year and all the new life springing up all around us, but also in this strange and barren place we find ourselves in. Some days I really feel as though the lights have been turned out on our plans and ambitions and yet in the quieter, stiller moments, the darkness is a warm and fertile place of creative thinking, ideas and opportunity.
Being at home has meant getting stuck into some much needed gardening. I am not a natural in that department and often wonder if my green-green-fingered gene will ever be switched on! It started out with the mundane, functional stuff like weeding, hoeing and digging in the compost. Then we moved on to planting seeds in trays and getting pots ready for the bedding plants, if we ever manage to find any!
In the absence of a greenhouse (and much skill!) the seeds are in trays on just about every window sill in the house! The first are starting to germinate and being watched with great anticipation by the whole family. My little boys are particularly excited about the seeds they harvested themselves last autumn after we showed off our wonky, oversized and very non compliant veg at the village horticultural show. If you’re thinking Vicar of Dibley you’d be about right! The whole thing is hilarious and the highlight of the year for my little boys. As we were counting the seedlings that were poking up through the potting compost, Sandy asked me about germination and how the courgette seeds managed to grow so big from being so small. And there it was. Explaining germination to a six year old gave me hope and made me feel a warm glow of optimism. Something I’ve been missing during all this turmoil.
We talked about the seed storing energy all year, as it sat in the jam jar in our mug cupboard. We planted them somewhere dark and watered them for a few days. Nothing else. Now we’re looking at whole new seedings, doing their thing, just starting out on the journey to producing fruit. It was the stored energy that really resonated with me at the moment, rather like the forced hibernation we are experiencing, in our families, in our work and our economy. Under the cloud of fear and confusion, we are conserving energy. Storing it up for the next chapter. Claiming reserves as our own and focussing on only what we need. Just like those dry little seeds, waiting to thrive, it got me digging in and focussing on being resourceful with my energy. With that has come the confidence in possibility. Not for straight away but for when the Covid weather changes.
So tomorrow it’s back to the compost heap with my barrow and spade. Sometimes you’ve got to get through the muck heap to help the roses grow.
Stay safe and stay well.