gardening · health and wellbeing

Sowing

Little Red Hen

It’s usually when I’m knee-deep in dirt that my most profound thoughts occur, and to follow suit as I recently pushed the pitch fork into the neglected vegetable patch, this came to me: you reap what you sow. Obviously not an original light bulb, but one that spurred me to dig deeper as weeds resisted and motivation waned. To keep turning that soil and uprooting a winter’s worth of tangled roots, the mental picture of what would be thriving in a few months fuelled the progress.

So as fork struck earth, as it so often does my mind took that thought on quite an expedition, concluding at the realisation that all we reap from life does in fact come from all the effort of our sowing.

This row of infant beans will be fed, watered and watched over. Should environmental factors threaten, they will be protected, mended and secured once more to their trellis. My hopes for these beans are that they grow tall and are healthy, producing a bounty for our table.

Row of new beans

Like these beans we nurture our children, nourishing, shielding and guiding with hopes of healthy, robust individuals emerging. And it is through these sowing and cultivating years that can be so challenging we know to persevere, as the ripening of resilient people is the greatest reward.

And our friends, the cheerful petal-faced people, that brighten our days as their horticultural counterparts do from their vases, flourish with our attention. Considered time and effort is a necessity to keep flowers blooming – and so it is with our companions. Both to be treasured.

flower seeds

All of the delicious meals, fascinating stories and masterful accomplishments in the workplace began with cognitive seeds, given time to develop. Pause and reflect on the satisfying fruits of your recent labour and know that it was your careful sowing that resulted in their fruition.

scarecrow

Postscript: Mind you, there are times when no matter how carefully you sow and how expertly you guard, the crows of life can intervene ….

family · health and wellbeing

Friend

old ted

Depending upon how fortunate you have been across the years, you will have, positioned securely in the background of your life, a handful of souls who simply by the knowledge of their existence, will provide a level of psychological solidarity to your life that cannot be purchased or generated overnight. The significance of these people has been shaped through time and experience and they carry a history of you within them. Various life stages may mean that for extended periods we may see little of them, but neither the passage of time nor geographical distance will weaken the connective threadwork that has been firmly reinforced through hours of conversation, shared moments and candid disclosure. I am referring of course, to old friends.

It is so easy to fall prey to the sheer volume of ‘to dos’, that in a blink turn your days into weeks, months and sometimes years. The difficulty lies in recognising this so that before long you have a thousand loads of laundry done, one hundred kilometres of floor vacuumed, five hundred kilograms of vegetables peeled and one meaningful conversation with a friend. While I’m not advocating stained garb, a filthy house or packaged meals, I’m just being time-keeper, signalling that enough time has elapsed in one life station and it’s time to move to the next.

What prompts you to stare down the predatory time-eating beast clothed in schedules, chores and responsibilities may be a phone reminder, a calendar jotting or a strategically placed photograph. Whatever method you choose, embrace it, strut past this brute and seek out your friend. No doubt you will find them where you last left them, now filled with many new stories to relate and genuine interest absorb all of yours.

good to see you again

health and wellbeing

Footfall

This track and I know one another well. We’ve seen each other without make-up and in all weathers. At times it has ice or dog doo on it and occasionally I am icy or feel like dog doo when I’m on it. Our relationship is quite symbiotic actually; it forges me a path of possibility and my regular visits ensures its upkeep is maintained. We make a good team.

I haven’t always been a runner, in fact I only seriously laced up my trainers a couple of years ago. Somehow deriving fitness in a gym environment seemed like baking a cake in a microwave oven – achievable, but odd. Once I regularly began to launch into the fresh air, traverse uneven surfaces, and brush past foliage, fitness became authentic.

The challenge to becoming a runner is comprehending the notion that the transformation from utter exhaustion to comfortable motion takes only a relatively short time. Initially the gulf seems vast, but after a few weeks, land appears on the horizon. The map to navigate this gulf is right here. I followed this plan and was amazed to discover that a collection of  printed numbers and sentences presented in a spreadsheet/table form could have such an impact on my health and wellbeing. Begin with this training program as I did and you will also create a special alliance with a trail of your own.

Postscript: I might add that there is also another powerful ally in this relationship and that is my running partner. She knows the track as I do. As we tread its boards, we have also managed to cover other great distances: parenting, politics, stir-fry tips, to name but a few. Our motto is simple: what is said on the track, stays on the track.

Fortunately, the track is discreet.