I’m no gardener, although I suppose I do a pretty good show of dock and nettles! But I have patches of ground round the cottage that require something doing to it, even if just keeping the dock and nettles in proportion with other plants. You know me; ever mindful of balance!
And the best thing is; this gets me outside. When I’m under the sky, especially with fingers in soil or in contact with plants, something calm switches on and I get a super soothing from it.
I so fear for today’s children who never get their faces in the wind or fingers in the soil, they just get drugs to calm them instead. Yet it is so therapeutic – being outside, not the drugs – and I think many of today’s highly charged children would be less so if they had a larger proportion of outdoor time.
Not only would this settle their restless souls but it also gets them better connected with the soil, and the understanding that it is soil upon which the soul and substance of the everything depends rather than the concrete that’s normally beneath our feet.
As much as I have never really taken to gardening – I must have been a complete disappointment to my mum who raved about her glorious plantings and dragged me for hours round plant centres – I do understand its importance. Not necessarily that we do it, but that we all understand that, in a way, we are all gardeners. We are all keepers of the world’s garden.
The world’s garden is what provides us with everything we need to survive. Just like our own little veg patch might provide us with a few leeks and lettuces, the world’s garden – the earth – provides us with the rest. And just like we would never ever consider chucking litter, rubbish, plastic bottles or wrapping down in our own little patch we should also refrain from doing it to the wider garden of the world.
That’s something worth encouraging our children to understand, forever keep in mind and more importantly; practise.
All those fab little growing activities we do as we educate our children like sowing cress in eggshells, or planting giant sunflowers or maybe getting involved in an allotment is just the beginning of educating our children that, not only are they keepers of their own little patch, they are important custodians of the rest of it too. As we all are!