Lost in a garden

Two days off and no family or neighbours around,  time to dust off the secateurs and steal into the garden.  Mid winters days perfect for pruning, mulching and getting all those dormant plants ready for their summer awakening . After alternating between sitting in practised meetings or at a computer five days a week,  I can now empty my head of the collective noise accumulated from the office  and constant  dialogue in the blog/twittersphere. Its cleansing  to immerse your hands and mind not in a virtual/contrived  reality, but rather the sensory reality in the realm of  mother earth. The ooze that you knew so well as a kid, reconnecting with dirt,  feeling the tug of weeds between the fingers, the smell of compost and occasional prickle of thorns, scratching of flesh – ah alive and reconnected with my real self! But deep down I feel some pangs of guilt- not so much from being away from  work;  but rather doing something no longer fashionable- gardening.  New age blokes don’t garden anymore- they cook. People around me hire gardeners to slip in while everyone’s at work to do the deed. Even a close friend and avid gardener revealed recently he’s hired a ‘landscaper’.  That leaves time for them to cook – thereby impressing their friends and more importantly I suspect; earn ‘bedroom’ points from their partners.  Cooking shows have seduced us all, even the kids value cultivating the culinary over the uncool slog of tilling the soil.  Producing a well plated dinner will earn their admiration, but plant out a flock of hollyhocks, only confirms you in the sad, daggy dad category.  The once popular gardening shows are now relegated to back time slots.  Arguably Peter Cundall or Shirley Stackhouse might lack the urbane sophistication of a Matt Preston or Nigela Lawson. Gardening shows just don’t cut it for the igen audience; seeking instant gratification (5 minute noodles/instant espresso/shots of the lot) and the competitive thrill of cook-offs.   Hard to pitch a concept for a gardening show such as – ‘whose nasturtiums bloom quickest’!  No, gardening shows don’t make for reality tele-we need to be fed a diet of winners and losers. Yes people have to eat.  But the sheer silence and solitude in a garden gives us that rare space in our modern lives. We need to acknowledge the primal urge to bestow life- sowing the seeds of life and witness the creative forces in the rites of spring.  This is something far more spiritual and connected with the soul of man- than fretting over the finessing of ones canapés. Call me old fashioned but call me a man of the earth and not the hearth. Now that’s my bloomin’ lot.


About thand

I'm a currently working at NSW Departrment of Education & Training, Connected Classrooms Program, Sydney.
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