Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Mystery Beds

I used to worry what was under my bed.

As a child I kept monsters there, which were useful for imaginative writing even if I never actually got around to it. I turned fourteen, stopped caring about those things and then kept porno mags, cigarettes and for some reason, a particularly dark bottle of piss I'd put there one day. I had no idea that the piss could charge my phone and the porn would stop Cameron denying my human rights to view writhing women. Nope, I grew out and threw out those things before I fully got to grips with their concepts. I'm not even going to think about the amount of hugely interesting stuff currently piled under our shared bed- just awaiting a moment to be binned before it gets useful- but you can probably imagine there is a lot.

No, these days I spend much more of my time thinking about what is going on under the garden beds. They bring with them a sense of wonder, overgrown with life and teaming with critters. They may not be the racy, fantasy-like beds I chased a few years back but there is definitely less to catch and they bring a gratifying amount of post-sweat satisfaction, so I'm happy with that.

Of course, this all revolves around the concept I now have people in my life to share these things with. I've swapped chasing the women in skirts for being chased by a woman with a hoover. I'm not so much dodging my parents on the way in drunk but arranging to meet them for a picking session. The things in life change, and somehow a constant has become the garden- which happens to be a useful escape.

Yesterday, in attempt to teach our eldest nephew that chips don't grow in freezers and that tomatoes don't start out in tins, we took him with us to the allotment. There, in the sunshine, he wandered around eating raspberries, red currants, black currants and tomatoes fresh from the bush. He took wheelbarrow rides around the site just like I did when I was 4. He helped with the weeding, took delight in having dirty hands for a change and wondered at how the spiral on his little galaxy viewer was the same as the spiral on the snail crawling on his arm.

For me, the defining moment came after everyone else had gone and there was just Lara, Little J and myself left. We trundled over to the top of the garden, fork in hand, and I turned just two potato plants over. Cue excitement. Four year old hands quickly launched in- fumbling through the freshly loosened soil, spotting and plucking warm spuds from the ground- each one delivered with a "Look, there's another!".

J went home with a handful of potatoes for his tea, a belly full of fruit and a mind filled with wonder. It may sound wet but in weather like this, all the poetry you need is outside. Go grow those metaphors.

Thanks for reading,



Lisa Kelly said...

Absolutely love this post, children are gardens and there you reap what you sow.

L :-)

Colin Davies said...

This post made me feel warm.

Thank you