I found myself again at the seemingly aptly named ‘Alchemy Garden’ of a friend in France; doing what I do, digging. One of a varied range of land based tasks these days has been to find again a heart . . .
A heart shaped garden bed of about 6 metre squared. But my dear friend, an artist and a gardener herself has been much pressed with life tasks that not everything can be kept on top of. So the heart, or at least its defined outline had somewhat disappeared, blurred by grass and herbage encroachment. The only clue, some limestone or shale edging rocks.
I got to a point this afternoon having established something like the original feature (and dug out rather a lot of garlic, or perennial allium plants ), But whole sections of my heart project were missing, lost to the ravages of time apparently. I was considering this over yet another cup of tea . . . would I have to walk away from my heart and gather additional rocks?
Perhaps one more step back closer to the site of my digging around would yield something? Stepping back and taking it all in, the shape, the surrounding grass, very subtle variations in colour, the onset of regrowth and tiny undulations underfoot – the fork went in, probing. And yes there they were, totally buried, but not far down, ten or twelve good sized edging rocks, authentic, original, but heretofore lost! So they were prised out, added to the edge of the heart and the turf folded back over, nearly as if nothing had happened.
But it had. My deep immersion in the days task at hand had given me deep appreciation. Yet again, the power of gardening combined with a little creativity, ingenuity and yes, love of my gifts, such as they are. All that remains is to know that if I nurture this appreciation, love, so will others too trust, the gardener, in them.
I wonder how I might utilise this capacity in ‘unearthing’ less material elements that make up our world, albeit often unseen. All in the service of healing. Another day, another garden, maybe.