A couple of days ago, as I was swishing my way down the hill towards my kitchen garden (swishing is my word for walking fairly quickly, with purpose but also with a carefree air), and humming a tune to myself that was not a tune I or anybody else would know but which somehow came out alright, I thought to myself ‘gosh, I do love this time of year’……and I carried on swishing and humming until a few moments later I said it to myself again ‘oh, I really do love this time of year’…….hum, hum, hum I went……swish, swish, swish I went until, in a sort of Winnie-the-Pooh moment, I stopped in my tracks and thought, ‘hang on a minute… I said this last month……..and the month before……and I’m pretty certain I said it last January’…… and so it was that I spent the rest of my swishing time trying, very hard, to think about which time I actually do love….
……and I decided that it is possible to love all the times. The garden is ever changing and as each change creeps in, I see new things, experience new excitement, feel new pleasures. The summer was beautiful……I appreciated every sun soaked, lazy, dreamy, languid moment…..but just as I was about to be complacent….about to snooze and dream some more the garden shook itself into a new phase. Someone flicked a switch. The evening darkness came quickly and the morning air had a bite to it. I had to put on a jumper. And when I looked at my little patch of soil I saw that it was bursting with gorgeous vegetables…..ripe from all the sun, fat from all the growing, tall from all the sunlight……somehow, overnight, it had become harvest time. So, snug in the aforementioned jumper, I have come to terms with the passing of summer and have started to harvest in earnest…..
…..in recent weeks I have spent more time in the kitchen than in the garden. I pod until midnight…..I bottle until midnight…..I chop, I blanch, I freeze….
.it does become a labour of love……but I know that come the new year I will be so glad I put the work in when I cook up another week’s worth of food from my stored veg…and snub the supermarkets. And even in deepest winter there will be fresh food to harvest and munch on. So I really do love this time of year…it’s hard work…..harder than any other time of the year…but the way I see it is my garden has worked hard for me until now so what’s a bit of effort on my side?
So I answered my own Winnie-the-Pooh conundrum……I love all the times of year in my kitchen garden……in different ways and for different reasons….and I will swish to the garden whether it’s high summer or deep midwinter…..a-swishing I will go.
The garden never stands still……it renews itself over and over…..and each time it renews itself I feel a renewal in myself. Happy swishing to you all……and love every minute.