Friday, 17 June 2016

Spellbinding




Four shifts at my new job completed. That’s 96 hours, I am surprised to calculate.
Twice as many as planned but there’s a staffing crisis, and therefore an opportunity to redress our finances. I have a list of things we should buy - we aren’t up to making our own power tools just yet, for example.

Mr has been minding the garden. I come back to it delighted. Beans grow, cauliflowers fight slugs, nasturtiums flow: stories, progress, magic. Air shimmers, heavy with birdsong, with imminent rain.

I take up a spade to clear the edge of the compost bins. Bindweed and nettles encroach, they hardly need compost to boost growth rates.

It is glorious to be outside.

Tenderly, pull grasses back from the old cat’s grave, which lies just behind the footings of our composting space. Tiny pink stems in my hand - as though a new cat is growing - one feels a kind of awe, otherworldly, and laughing at the thought, simultaneously. The last roots are scraped back as rain falls. Bird noise clusters in hedges.

I shall be tired, I’m sure, from the extra hours. I have not given up my teaching or my gardening, or my kitchen apothecary experiments. The new job is caring for a client who has advanced Multiple Sclerosis, however, so I cannot feel at all sorry for myself, not when here I am, walking, talking, eating, sneaking a wee round the back of the shed, shielded by thorn leaves.

Not when the wider world drips through with anger and fear, and I have this green solace.

Words, too: I have words to tend, to feed, to share. So obvious I forget to mention it!

If I were the last human on earth I would read my stories to the trees, I think: they would humour me, though they have little to gain from my words, and may not approve of paper. 
I imagine they would understand: the writer is not so solitary, she grows her words to connect.