Is it my imagination or is there more bad news these days then ever? When I hear about all the Jihadist stuff going on, in Paris, Syria, everywhere, I feel like we’re back in Rome and the barbarians are invading and our world is about to cave in. We won’t really know it until the very end, so all we can do is live our lives and be constantly, vaguely afraid. Also, it’s hard to enjoy life since it seems disrespectful to everyone in the world who is suffering so much. I feel guilty a lot of the time, like there’s something more I should be doing; but when my mind considers the options, they seem either futile or overwhelming. Maybe the Romans were lucky they didn’t have the internet and couldn’t see what was really happening. But even with the internet, do we really know what’s happening? We certainly know more than they did and in a timelier fashion. Whether we can see the forest or only the trees is another question.
I see my job(s)as providing some relief from all the bad news. Playing music, which is my career, provides an escape from it, a comfort in times of chaos and sadness; and with this blog I’m trying to create a refuge. I know it’s not going to cure the ills of the world, but I do know that nature and beauty can help save individuals from their blackest thoughts. Diversion is one of the routes to happiness, however fleeting.
Gardening is many things, but the most important to me is the way it grounds me. When I’m out there in the garden I’m aware of the source of all things; the earth and its bounty, its generosity if you will. Despite what humans are doing to it, it gives back as much as it can at all times. Given whatever circumstances it finds itself in, some plants will grow to some extent. When I’m tending my tiny patch of earth, I feel honoured to give it more optimal conditions than perhaps it sees elsewhere. I don’t put poison into the ground. I try to get a feel for what the garden needs, but I don’t tamper with the growing process too much, although I’ve usually considered that laziness, but one could look at it as just letting Mother Nature do its thing. I try to guide her in certain directions, by transplanting, pruning, and fertilizing with compost and manure. I add new plants here and there to try them out, see how they like the soil and light conditions, but if they don’t seem to like them, I let them go. I don’t amend the soil for acidity much, as it seems like a losing battle. A few favourite plants (clematis and azaleas come to mind) will inspire more effort on my part, but the rest seem to manage anyway. The ones who like the conditions will thrive no matter what I do. Sometimes too much! That’s the pleasure and wonder of gardening. No matter what you do, things tend to thrive. Perhaps not the way you’d intended, but they will. There will be beauty.