Sunday, 30 March 2014

The pious gardener ?

Dear Monty,

New vistas

Sometimes in life it is as though everything is tinged with world weariness.

I have sadness in my heart because people are passing away - people who influenced my beginnings in this valley. Bewilderment hits the relatives of those who fall ill, and I age.

How can any of this weariness be redeemed - become re-connected ?

The garden reawakening after a wet winter is like a mirror reflecting my inmost thoughts. Spring comes with new life.

'He restores my soul '

Soul is a difficult entity to pin down. For me it is the centre of my being, the core of who I am. From that deep place comes a burst of energy - like the sudden gust of wind on this bright afternoon rushing through the trees like waves breaking on the shore.

The new vista of the trees beyond the garden was made possible by the death of a pine. Perhaps this restoration only occurs within me - if you were sitting here you may not experience it.

There is a lot of maturing to do both in my life and in this garden.

I think I may be pious because I stopped using pesticides in the garden several years ago. I have also stopped worrying about weeds. I did so not to feel superior, but because I read how vital plants such as nettles are for the caterpillars of several of our species of butterfly. Since letting nettles and cuckoo flower grow, I have had the pleasure of seeing many of our butterflies such as green veined white, brimstone, peacock, comma and tortoiseshell in my small garden. I have also seen a wider group of birds and amphibians use the garden as a stopover and a feeding station, all this restores my soul.

I wouldn't dictate this way of making a garden to anyone else, as they may not like what they see here.
I still for my sins have patches of bare ground which today I seeded in a scatter gun way with chinese cabbage, cavolo nero, marigolds and rocket.

So far I have been an unsuccessful veg gardener and this may be a futile gesture - but like new vistas there's always the possibility it will work and surprise me !

Cheers Monty,


Monday, 24 March 2014

Understanding the fleeting shadows

Dear Monty,

I don't know how to describe the garden in this season of fleeting shadows. It is full of potential, the fuse of Spring is lit.

I remember looking at a Ceri Richards painting in the Glynn Vivian art gallery in Swansea as a young man and not understanding the meaning of its imagery, but recognising the forms of morphing plants and animals.
Later in my early adulthood I understood its sexual significance.

The years take their toll on our sexual selves. We are creatures that live in the mind as well as the body - we are aware of so much more than just our bodies. We have a mind that roams further than the edge of the garden.

Life can be so painfully clear sometimes, laid bare in the sharp light of a frosty morning.

My destiny is the grave, it is not a kind of doom but it can appear to be so from this side of death.

Here we are trying to find out what  happened after the big bang - where did we come from - why did we happen ?
I am not sure what answering such questions will gain us in terms of our humanity, frailty and vulnerability.
We are moving rapidly away from the 'myth' of God to the 'truth' of science accelerating all the time, much like the particles did after the bang, yet we become no better as a species in dealing with one another or this planet we live on.

What if we prove it is all just chance - what difference will it make ? If we succeed in destroying faith what will it gain us ? We will always find ways of hating one another, because we all have our own mind, will and volition. The universe will become a void and we will have no soul.

If we do not care about such things as soul or spirit, then why do we need to prove that we are but dust and atoms, brief shadows in time ?