Culture

Gardening – Helps

By Bernie Bell

I’ve been thinking too much.  It’s a tendency I have, and I am a great believer in thinking – thinking about what’s happening around us – thinking things through.  But – sometimes I think too much and it tangles my mind.

Also, I have various things physically amiss with me, and sometimes I think I look at that too much too – scrutinizing my every ailment, asking myself why is that happening today – what might I have done to avoid it happening? 

It’s all happened before, and will happen again – so what’s the point in dwelling on it?

I’ve got into a bad state recently and today have decided that, unless it’s actually raining, I will do some gardening.

When I’m gardening – I’m thinking, but I’m focusing on what needs doing – do I snip that or leave it be? Do I pull that up or leave it be?  What is that, and where did it come from? And – I re-discover things that I’ve forgotten about and re-deploy them – recently I tidied up some clumps of hardy geranium and found a sea urchin and a marble ball which I’d placed and forgotten, so I wandered around the garden and re-placed them.

It’s different with house work – take a duster – dust, take the hoover – hoove. Leaves room for….thinking.

When gardening, I think. But it’s focused thinking – mostly centred on the plants.

There’s a lot said about how gardening can help those with a troubled mind – take it from one as knows – it does.

It can also help to distract from the bodily ills. I used to know someone who had a condition which meant that his skin itched, constantly. He had medication and advice, but the thing which helped most was working on his car. Again – focused attention on what he was doing, very specifically. That wouldn’t have worked for me – diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, but it worked well for him.

The other thing about getting out gardening is that I meet people out with their dogs. Recently I met a little dog who is a cross between an English Setter and a Poodle – has a coat something like the fleece of a North Ronaldsay lamb, and she’s utterly good-natured. That does me good, too.

Getting out is the first step.

So I decided, even if it knocks me back physically – today – I’m gardening!

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