The gate. It’s a big old thing; heavy, creaking, clunky……it swings open reluctantly and bangs shut with a dull thud. Fortified with a chain heavier than anything Jacob Marley could ever manage to shake and clank. The paint is peeling, the hinges are rusting…..it blends perfectly into its sprawling, decaying urban surroundings and hardly warrants a second glance.
But it is a magic gate. This gate has the power to transform those who pass through it and reward them with moments of pure bliss and joy. Every time I step through this gate I feel the scrunch in my shoulders loosen, my head is carried a little higher, my stride softens and slows, the frown on my brow disappears as surely as if it had been botoxed, I breathe……deeply. It is a Wizard of Oz moment…..stepping from black and white into blazing technicolour.
Life outside the gate is so often played in black and white – we all have it; the pressures of work and money, family life, juggling time, health issues, all the nitty-gritty, grind down stuff…….but on the other side of the gate the black and white, if only for a brief moment, disappears and we have roses in our cheeks again.
Sometimes, as I try to fall asleep after a particularly hard day, I picture myself opening the gate and walking through…. Your kitchen garden may not have a gate….a big, old, clunky gate like mine……but I’m sure whatever threshold you cross you, too, step into colour.
In my kitchen garden I am still the same old me……but a better me. In the kitchen garden I am me in glorious technicolour.
3 thoughts on “The gate”
Such a beautiful tribute! I’ve never been there in person, but I can close my eyes and visualize it just as you so lovingly described. Such bliss!
I am reminded of the old saying: “What’s your garden’s best year?” The answer is always “next year”. in addition to the peace and ‘in the moment’ feelings you outline so beautifully, I think gardens often embody the idea of hope. Hope for next year’s seedlings, hope for repair or bad pruning or planting decisions, hope for those brittle stems to return to supple green veg, fruit or flowers, hope for a fresh start, a chance to remedy now that we are smarter or wiser.
Keep writing Vivi. You’ll end up with a book if you keep at it. And sign me up.
Gardening is so good for the soul in so many ways…..but the optimism we nurture, along with our seedlings, is surely the biggest deal! I love ‘next year’…….
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