Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Short Break

A Short Break

A pause from gardening and pruning those damnable griselinea littoralis hedges.  They grow so quickly and so strong – green shoots turn into wood within one season.  However, it’s good exercise and gives me time to think.  The gap between my index finger and thumb is exceedingly sore – all that back and forth movement of the seccateurs.  Some branches are more stubborn than others, while some yield to the blade with great ease.  A parable for life here, I should think.  I read somewhere that gardeners invariably live long lives.  My uncle Jim on my mother’s side lived to be ninety and he was a gardener and never had to take a tablet in that long space of existence.  He was also a calm and wise individual.  Wisdom comes, I often think, from closeness to nature with its cycle of decay and growth over and over again.

I am sitting with my laptop on my knee typing these words, looking out through the patio doors on the pile of green waste I have yet to gather up and bag off and then bring to the designated depot for disposal (at some future date).  I feel satisfied with at least half of my planned work for the day done.  On Wednesday next, my half-day from work, I plan to get the remainder of the hedges pruned.  Words from Thomas Kinsella’s poem “Mirror in February” come into my mind.  As Kinsella looked at the pruned trees of the North Circular Road in Dublin, he observed that they were “hacked clean for better bearing”.  Hopefully such is the case in my poor much neglected little garden.  I often curse those griselinea hedges and wish that they were uprooted – but then the fact that my late father helped me plant them when I bought the house puts me off such an act of destruction.

Also I love listening to some music when I am working in the garden – not too loud mind you.  I usually play a CD or two on my stereo in the kitchen and I can hear the music there in the background.  I would not like to pollute the air by forcing loud music onto the unwilling ears of my neighbours. (One of my pet hates is being forced to listen to very loud music forced on me by others during the summer months!)

I listened to two CDs while working this morning – “The Best of Sting” and one by Paddy Casey, “Amen (So Be It)”.  From the former the words “If you love someone set them free” kept striking a chord, bringing to mind former friends whom I could say I had the grace to “set free” – I am finally coming to a little peace in my own heart as regards that.  A song I particularly love by Paddy Casey is “Everybody Wants”, especially the words: “everybody wants to feel needed sometime!”  So true!

Once again the garden calls – I can’t leave that heap of green waste there can I?  I suppose I could, but then I would feel guilty about having left the day’s chores only half completed.  I’m going to put on another CD now to cheer me while bagging that detritus.  This time it’s “Kirsty McColl – the one and only” – a compilation made after her tragic death.  I need the voice of a woman to cheer me! Above centre shows the results of my morning's work.

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