…starts with a single step.
A step to the allotment, and then to potter around. To survey, to soak it all; to remember what was.
I went willingly. I went, with intention and a sense of purpose. I wanted to go, see what the literal lay of the land was. For a long time, seeing that space has felt really very overwhelming. I need to take the plot in parts, in sections to be worked on one at a time. I might also have to inveigle some help with that; I will have to find willing side-kicks.
This was a big deal. I felt that urge, where by the many different facets of me weren’t in conflict. I went to the allotment to seek joy. Joy that has long since been absent, and has left something of hole behind.
I had spent most of the day baking. I have a bundt tin, a recipe book and the need to make something. Two cakes later-raspberry and milk chocolate, the one stuck the pan, lost its top-I resolved to go take a walk to the plot. I baked today as I feel as though I’m in a time/space vortex. My baking mojo exists as my writing mojo is fading and my gardening mojo is a spark. This in itself is slightly disorienting.
As I got to the plot, I felt resolute. I’d gone to have a look, I want to cover the top half, see what needs clearing, what is in my way. I wandered around, I took the above pictures.
Then it hit me. Sadness and guilt.
Sadness that this is what I am faced with; but know why. Guilt, as more often than not, I experience looks and tuts of disapproval at having let things lapse. There is a big part of me, that blows raspberries at that. I blow raspberries, as I have grown and developed the plot quite successfully in the past. The plot has been a mini Eden. I’m hanging onto that; I would like to return to that. This won’t happen quickly, there is no immediate gratification here. There never has been. I can confess that I do not react well to disapproval from plot neighbours. I do try to ignore it for the most part, but that doesn’t stop bits of seeping through. Judgement and disapproval are horribly damaging, your autonomy takes a hit and you start doings that you’d rather not. That’s the bit I’m hanging onto.
This is my tenth year as an allotment gardener. A lot has happened in that decade, a lot has happened on the allotment plot. I have until April to make a dent in things, get back to a level playing field and to cultivate something. It might only be January, but already I see folks on blogs, on social media; they are getting stuck in, they have grand plans. I myself, feel very much at sea. The thought of going to look in my seed tin, doesn’t feel right at the moment.
That said, the chilli seeds are very much on my mind and will be sown in the next few weeks. Sowing the chillies, having a look at the plot feels like an intuitive step in the right direction.