I could court offers

Posted Thu 10 Sep
4 comments so far

There is no song separating my paragraphs, this is an experiment. I amn’t going to think about this post. I have decided the topic, and I am just going to type. Let the thoughts flow from my head, to my fingers, to this text input box. No pausing, not waiting, just one long breath. We shall see how it goes. Even the picture I had lined up for another post, and resued it here.

Every night, I cycle home from the train station. Every night, I pass by our allotment. Given the schools have started, the summer holidays are over, time is precious, the only chance I get of watering our produce is as wend my way home. This is hardly a chore, I love our allotment. We were close to giving it up, time constraints, other commitments, life goes on, but every time we stood on its ground, the desire crumbled, overtaken by the peace it brings upon us.

South Cambs is quiet, as well as being flat. Then the allotment is set aside from the road, on the edge of the village. Or what was once the edge of the village, according to my old maps. Now there are houses either side, but even so, there is quite a bit of cultivated land there. All in use.

This evening, it was just me down there. Sometimes I see our grow-your-own neighbours, chatting to the old duffers while leaning on my fork, watching the smoke slowly snake into the sky, the smell of burning very different from ordinary bonfires. The languid, lazy smoke, the relaxed, dreaming fire, hiding amongst the vegetables all over the landscape. Small piles of smouldering leaves, evidence of the work just done. But while there was still the smell of the smoke, there no one was around.

This evening, this time of year, the sun was low in the sky, preparing to settle down for the night, a perfect circle of burnt and burning orange, a mere hand’s width from the horizon. The silence helps, the loneliness helps, I am content. Having done my chores, the watering of the newly planted cabbages, in preparation for a few months time, some weeding, and general walking up and down, meditating on all that surrounds me.

And that is what I wanted to write here, write now, right now, without thinking. How is it that a simple piece of ground, whose surface was broken by my own hands, where I toiled, Cassandra toiled, our progeny toiled, where we watched, over the past years, the successes and the failures, the pain of ignoring it and coming back to more hard work, but overall, the special connection, the communion I have with this piece of this earth that is mine.

This time of year helps. The special halflight, the huge East Anglian skies, but mostly the silence. My silence. Over the years, I have come to enjoy solitude, I have always been able to keep my own company, but this is different. I enjoy the sharing of the work too, but even then, there is still the silence. Work to be done, but also enjoyed. I guess it helps the time I am there. People are home from work, eating their dinner, settling down for the evening. Some of us have longer days, longer commutes, longer reading time, but the lack of human activity doesn’t concern me.

Lots of people talk of the benefit of manual work. It is true. Your mind can soar, your thoughts are your own, as they always are. You can wish your life away, regret your past, plot and scheme, or not even think of anything, just be a void, a creature of the very ever present. There isn’t a past, there isn’t a future, there is only ever now.

None of that, I think, really comes close to saying what I am trying to say. It is the air, the air circulating through me, the light, the light flowing around me, the ground, the ground absorbing me. One hundred and twenty square metres of soil. All it takes to calm me down. While I am there, at any rate. I still want a pipe, to draw on slowly while I survey the land, fork embedded in the ground, adding to the languid ending of another day.

And the day ends.

  1. Welcome back to the modern age!

    I would also like to add, this is perhaps the best post you have ever done (except when you praised my novel). Your diction is impressive. I could picture myself standing amongst the vegetables, toes in the dirt and manure - it is even more impressive that I can picture this given my lack of desire to stand in a vegetable patch. So very well done!

    Oh. And on a final note - Dinosaur, grrrrr.

    Thu 10 Sep, 9:44PM

  2. Spoken like a true horny-handed, philosophical son of the soil.

    Great post. I was there. Weeding.

    Fri 11 Sep, 7:56AM

  3. very nice. we are debating the future of our allotment, even though we haven’t put much into it yet we are loathe to let it go. Simple pleasures.

    Sun 27 Sep, 5:42PM

  4. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. That connection to the world. It’s real - nothing else seems real.

    Fri 29 Jan, 1:18AM

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