Last Saturday I tried to get out in the garden but the weather intervened. We barely had enough time to drag ourselves out of bed and get the dog walked before the rain set in. To be fair, if it was not for the dog each morning doing her stretches, pointedly limbering up for what she suggests is her God-given right to exercise, we would not have any motivation to get up and out. Regular walking with the dog is our therapy, giving us an obligatory blast of fresh air to clear our minds, balance our thoughts and keep us moving. Without our demanding Pavlovian pest we would have slipped out of the routine of regular perambulation and would probably be tucked up in bed from dawn till dusk like Charlie Bucket’s grandparents.
Sunday was a better day and I was able to fill pots with various bulbs, ready for some colour in the spring. But even on Saturday, in spite of the inclement weather I did spend a happy hour or two in the relative dry of the potting shed, saving seeds from the summer’s annuals. So I have now bagged (and labelled, I am pleased to say) little envelopes of Nigella, Honesty, Echinacea and Rudbeckia. I even stored some Allium seeds, but I see that these are very much a longer term project and only likely to get to flowering size after a few years. But maybe that is what I need: it would be marvellous if the firework tops of the alliums were to be blooming in two or three summers’ time and we can see a waymarker on our recovery from the dark days of autumn 2019.
While I was out in the garden on Sunday, a neighbour passed on a nice little aphorism: “Action Before Motivation”. I understood it right away. Simply getting out in the garden has always been an end in itself, even if I am not sureif I want to be there or what I need to do. But once I am there I get drawn into something and am inspired to do more. Last weekend was just such a weekend. It was our life in a microcosm: getting on small stuff and hoping that at some point it will feel like it has some greater meaning and reason. It might take till spring, or even longer, but we will keep on keeping on – however de-motivated we feel.
It’s what our boy would want us to do.