Hello. It’s wonderful to see you again and I’m so glad you made it. I need your help.
Today is a bit of a melancholy day. Though the sun is shining and the essence of spring lingers in the air, I can’t fight the onslaught of nostalgia bearing down on me.
I miss my home; not the homes in which we have resided for the last few years, located in various places, but the home that my children remember and grew up in, collecting memories like postcards in their minds. We have been debating whether to move again as purchasing a house is nearly impossible with the high deposits required and no available land to build in our area. I have sat down with the sprogs and asked them what they would like to do as it affects them the most. The majority view another move with as much gusto as they did the previous one. They loved their home and we tore them away from their happy place by selling and moving. Unfortunately it had to be done to cleanse the palate financially. Now that we are on stronger footing, the options are still not open to us and it is frustrating to wait another year for things to change.
I miss the smell of my roses in my back garden and the way the bulbs pushed up unexpectedly from various hiding places, displaying their beauty from beyond the obvious. I loved the freedom to plant new flowers each year and the prospect of fruit from our cherry tree and pear tree. I miss creating our version of utopia in our little garden of Eden each summer with our own pool, relaxing tents serviced (by me) with iced drinks and fresh towels to lounge on whilst enjoying the birds and the blue sky above. You might ask what is stopping us from reliving these glorious moments in our current abode. Well, the garden is extremely small (postage stamps laugh at its size) and it slopes like a lob-sided dinosaur’s back, so it is impossible to fit any type of fun equipment for the sprogs, let alone plant anything in the wilderness that is called the end of the garden. I’m sure things might have gone there in the past, to die! Even the cats don’t want to use it for their ablutions, which says a lot. My cats have low standards.
The biggest issue is the dog. He’s afraid to go out there. At night, we are forced to open the front door and allow him to relieve himself on the stony front garden (reminiscent of a beautiful Mars garden: all crumbly rocks and uneven stones that ignite during the hottest part of the day). He risks his feet on those jagged edges rather than facing the prospect of visiting the place we now refer to as hell’s backyard. At first, it was amusing to watch him stand by the sliding doors, eyes focused on something we couldn’t see that obviously caught his attention. Then, after an hour of freezing in the living room, we would push him out, hoping he would get the hint and just go. Instead, he would scuttle into an alcove near the door and wait, the whites of his eyes glowing in fear, until we slid the door open again and allowed him back in.
Whilst enjoying the proximity of the wildlife next door (not our neighbours – the other side!), the forest tends to breathe down our necks. Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky enough to have a forest next door. It’s just the fact that it knocks on our windows and doors every night, reminding us that it is there and that it is alive and wants us to know that. We appreciate it during the day and over weekends when we can’t go into hell’s backyard but can extend ourselves out into this wilderness. It is free land after all. It’s just not the same as your own space. Dog walkers frown at the sight of little brown people lounging next to an inflatable pool in the middle of the field where they dogs usually play catch. Park Rangers tend to scowl at the sight of little brown people huddled round a fire enjoying their boerwors, burgers and beers while their dog takes laps around the trees just for fun (and because he’s afraid of the fire). So you can see my dilemma.
The yearning will stop and I’ll strap on my big girl pants again and stop whining. It’s just moments like this, when you look outside and see that glorious sun and wonder: what could I possibly plant this year?
How do you celebrate the coming of spring? Do you plant anything special in your garden to enjoy through the summer? Share your funny stories about your gardens and surroundings to help me rid myself of this funky Monday feeling.