Monday, 2 July 2018

Growing up

Hallelujah, proteas and leucodendron planted at St Giles. This took a bit of figuring out and prayer where they ought to go. I noted the sunniest, most exposed positions on the site and also Els request they be within view of the church. The books and tags all said are fine as isolated lawn specimens and shouldn't be too crowded, can cope with drought, and will die if planted in shade or shelter or even fertilised. They are from South Africa, which means, coastal conditions, or open savannah. They aren't going to survive in a forest. I placed boulders by each one and really prayed this time the mower man, (I call 'Bob') won't mow over them.

After a little weed and tidy up of the triangle flower garden I headed on home, to sort out my gardening life. As always there's more to do, more to learn, and lots of growing up to do. Unlike some people, I don't live on cigarettes and anger so when it comes to break time I really do, need a break. Which sometimes means walking off the job. And coming back to it later of course. But I'm always careful if I'm working with someone that I'm not exhausting them, promising we'll stop and then asking them to do ONE more thing. People have their limits, and a happy gardener is a well fed gardener, not someone who works themselves to the bone and forgets to even have lunch.

I think it goes back to childhood, if I really want to be honest, and all I can tell you is, as a baby I cried (I did not have the power of speech back then) and nobody heard me. So I cried more, and that annoyed my mother, so she told me to shut up. Instead of feeding me she ignored me. And I think I just learned that being loud was disapproved of, so for years at school I hardly said a word, people actually thought I was deaf, or very very quiet. I learned speaking up about your needs meant you were just thought of as a whiner. I grew up skinny as a rake as a consequence because I just learned if I ever said I was hungry, I was not going to be fed.

Cut to 30 odd years later, and, while I've gotten quite good at feeding and looking after myself, I know that, not everyone is going to look after me or is happy or cares to. Fending for myself is something I've learned, and trusting others or the right people is hard. It's easier if I just take that responsibility instead of rely on others. Yet paradoxically, the whole looking after Selina business ended up being make sure Selina takes her medications and stays quiet. Thank God I was delivered from that, but I learned through it that, growing up is not something you can really do all on your own. I'm too tender for that. It requires someone looking out for you that someone who sees your potential, hears your cry in the wilderness and believes that you can grow.
And it's the same with gardens.

All good gardens require a gardener. Someone to tend it, dress it and keep it. They do not just grow on their own. Weeds can grow on their own in the wilderness, but beautiful gardens do not.