Today, in an attempt to inject some mystery and suspense in my life, I planted unlabelled daffodil bulbs under the apple trees. Lu puddled around beside me, busy in her own world. Just a few months ago she wouldn't let me be in my own thoughts but now, at two years old, she has her own agenda, scooting back only occassionally for a chat and a hug. So we worked apart but together, in harmony.
My garden gives me great peace and joy (and a fair helping of angst) but fundamentally, it is a gift from me to my family and particularly my girls. It provides food, beauty, education and adventure. It's given Lu a somewhat surprising vocabulary of violence: "squash", "kill", "got 'em", "he's dead". Also, some marginal language: "bugger", "evil bugs", and (embarassingly, and I swear I only said it once), "screw it". Lu's first job was stamping on the slugs, her second was using her special perspective to find bugs and then sqeeeeeeshing them between her fingers. She's very accepting of nature's red tooth and claw.
But here's something I didn't expect. This morning, Lu walked around poking the ground with a stick, leaving little holes everywhere. What was she doing? Making homes for the ladybirds.
Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home.
Your house is on fire, your children all gone.
All except one, and that's little Anne.
She's crept under the frying pan.
Gardening helps Lu express her concern and compassion for other beings; could there be a better gift than that?
(Ladybird resettlement scheme, Tasmania)
Eating from the garden: tomatoes, with cheese, under the grill, for breakfast; corn for lunch; more corn and tomato sauce from a Maggie Beer recipe with steak for dinner.