Beneath a quiet surface (AGGIL 11)
You may have seen already the video of me planting out our Messidrome Garlic, and our Bunyard's Exhibition Broad Beans. It felt like such an achievement after seemingly endless delays; day-on-day and week-on-week 'other things' needing to happen since their respective beds were ready in early October. However, they're in, and hopefully the plump garlic cloves are each putting down their thread-like roots, and the broad beans are swelling so that the little primary root of each seed – the radicle root - can force its way out of its shell and into soft, loamy earth. Bliss!!
This morning, in sorting out various photos on my phone, I noticed I had accidentally taken one of the Messidrome Garlic bed after the cloves had been planted. The thing that struck me was the tiny difference between the two pictures - the 'before' and the 'after' shot if you like. On the left is the 'before' shot, with the soft soil topped by a small guideline, whilst the 'after' shot looks virtually identical though without the line.
It made me think of two things.
The first is that what we see above our sacred soil can hide so much of what's going on beneath a quiet surface. So much of what we do in growing our own food starts off, after planting or sowing, with nothing seemingly happening... then a shoot breaks through the soil and we smile. Though still then, especially with root and tuber crops, garlic, and ground nuts like peanuts, we don't fully know what is going on underneath; a forest of vibrant growth above may simply only suggest what is going on down below.
My second thought is that by simply removing that guideline, and without knowing the time and energy I had put in to planting the individual cloves, it would seem as though little had happened. In fact I had spent a good while splitting each of the garlic cloves from the bulb, checking each clove for disease or damage, gently raking the top of the soil, placing down the guideline, laying each clove along its line and in its row, adjusting the spacing here and there, using a trowel to gently make the planting hole, placing each individual clove in its own growing space in the damp soil, covering each clove up and then carefully smoothing out the surface of the soil. So much time and effort had gone into this planting, though the only visible sign to show for it that day was the removal of a piece of string.
It made me think that we humans are similar.
What others see on the surface of us, in our face, our gestures, our stance and even our words often tell a very different story than what is happening beneath the surface, inside our bodies, inside our brains. And the fact that we might go along with the actions and words of others does not make us them, and to understand that is key.
In addition, what might seem a simple task to one person may to another be herculean. The result of an activity for two people may be the same, though the process for each may be entirely different. For one that activity could be a simple run-of-the-mill, day-in day-out task, whilst to the other the task may be monumental, take much more thought, energy, learning, fear and time. Again, understanding that we are each different is key.
Being thoughtful, caring and understanding of others is so important in today's exhilarating and vapid world - a world where good traits are often seen as a weakness, and time spent on good, thorough achievement is often disregarded.
It’s important to find one’s own guideline in life, and the line that is right for each of us can show itself at very different stages of our life, and they often change as the years pass. What was once so important is now irrelevant, and vice versa. Endeavouring to find that line and follow it is again key.
In my life, where others have seen a weakness in me, I have learnt to find a strength, and seeking and finding the right guideline has brought me to where I am today, and I am quite happy with where that is.
A Guernsey Gardener in London, Day 11
12/11/2019 01:03:20 pm
"inside our bodies, inside our brains"...I would add inside our hearts is often not seen from the outside. Though in some people-you Paul-your heart is visible over an ocean on a screen-in particular in this heartfelt writing of yours. And Richard's heart is on display in his beautiful photos and in the incredible amount of time you both spend sharing your hearts with folks you've never met. It gives great support to those of us wearing our hearts on our sleeves (& been criticized for that). Sending love. xo
13/11/2019 12:27:40 pm
You are of course so right Michel - 'inside our hearts'. 😊 And thank you for those so kind words, they really do mean a lot to us. 😊
13/11/2019 12:28:28 pm
'Thank you, thank you, and bloody thank you...' as Richard would say. 😊
12/11/2019 01:53:54 pm
Notice you planted your garlic deeper than others do..that where the miracle of growth happens..that is where the miracle of growth is happening in you .. THANK YOU..for sharing your heart with us❤
13/11/2019 12:29:04 pm
The miracle of growth - how we just live for that. 😊
12/11/2019 02:34:08 pm
13/11/2019 12:29:34 pm
Thank you Brian. Much appreciated as always. 😊
12/11/2019 09:35:14 pm
Another uplifting blog Paul. I’m really enjoying your writings. Thank you.
13/11/2019 12:30:20 pm
Thanks you so much Tracey. It really is good to know that some people get my rambles and jottings. 😊
12/11/2019 10:03:07 pm
I really enjoyed reading this blog and to find you in philosophical mode. I so agree about pausing to understand and respect differences in others. However, sometimes the temptation to be impatient and dismissing of people or ideas that don't fit with my world view can be very tempting. Working at the allotment and slowing my pace down to a more natural rhythm always helps me find the kinder and more peaceful side to my nature. Thankyou.
13/11/2019 12:33:33 pm
Oh Izzy, I do so agree with you that the temptation to be impatient and dismiss people and the ideas of others can be so tempting. It really does take time to learn to step back, metaphorically, and contemplate before responding. I am much better at this nowadays, though I am not a Saint!! Slowing the pace of today's life is a valuable inner gift, if one can find it. 😊
16/11/2019 09:50:51 pm
18/11/2019 09:23:22 am
Amie - again thank you for your lovely words. What an experience that must have been for you at school, where we hope we will be supported and encouraged in our young lives. I am so glad they eventually understood and that you received an apology from your teacher. When we are growing up, and feel different and as if we do not fit in, we just need support and help, not further life challenges to deal with. ❤
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...long term partners.