Posted on 18 Comments

I’m alright Jack

I read. I read a lot. I love my books. I read to escape, I read to fall in love, I read to be challenged. Recently I read a book which floored me…..it was as if I was reading my own words……as if the author had read my private journals. The book was called, very simply, ‘Spinster’. Ugh. Such an ugly word (thoroughly explored in the book) with connotations of bag lady, of cat lady, left-on-the-shelf-ugly lady……a difficult woman that no man would go near…..

….but this book was, in fact, a celebration of the single woman making her own way, the single woman being complete.alone

So, now you get the picture. Spinster: be afraid……she’s a witch, a hippy, a lesbian, a freak with no kids or husband (for goodness sake!)…..she has an allotment but there’s no man to help her….she’ll give it up before the new year……or she’ll just grow flowers..

As a woman I have had, throughout my whole life, to do the most basic things, the most normal things with defiance…..and that includes my kitchen garden. When I first got my plot I worked (as a nurse) every Sunday and when I did get down to the garden I was either on my own or with a friend (female)……the rumours soon went around that I was a lesbian preacher!!!! Hahahaha……let them think what they will…I will not be defined by religion, politics or my sexuality!

Over the years my plot has become my lover – in so much as it is the thing I want to give all my time and energy to – it repays me with moments of joy and wonder, with moments of quiet and sadness…..it loves me back as much as I love it…..the more love I give it the more it repays me. I am not single….I am a girl attached to the land.

The soil does not judge me. The soil does not question my life decisions……the soil accepts me and allows me my alone time to think, reflect, smile, cry, laugh…..I love the freedom my kitchen garden gives me……the freedom to let my mind ramble, the freedom to be myself with no questions asked.

Whoever you are, whatever stage in life you are at, whatever question you are asking…….I hope your soil time leads you to your answers. By the way….I’m a proud spinster.

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18 thoughts on “I’m alright Jack

  1. Hurray for you! I like your way of thinking, I have always done for myself with no help, I am a widow and the garden has seen me through it all. Has kept me sane and focused.

  2. How I feel too ! I’m 62 and have never had peace, and contentment in my life until recently. I’ve never been happier in my life than now. No man, or thing, nor money or gift has ever filled my needs or wants like personal freedom. To come and go, to read in peace, to do nothing if thats what I wish to do. To think and act as I feel. I am so grateful ! Here’s to the girls ! I am happy at last and wouldn’t have it any other way~~~

    1. Perfect. Long may your freedom fulfill you. X

  3. I love the word spinster … for me it has a lot of positive connotations, someone who is mysterious, who is untethered, yet educated and knowledgeable. Someone who does not conform, who can be fabulously exotic or grey as a mouse to suit her temperament.
    Live your life as you see fit and to hell with the labels 🙂

    1. I adore this attitude!

  4. I am a never married single woman does that make me a lesbian spinster.. no it makes me a strong, independant and self reliant woman with nothing to hold me back from expressing myself however I choose depending on how I am feeling at any given time. Bravo Vivi for speaking up for independant woman.I too am in love..with my connection to the earth.

    1. Hurrah!!!! Go us!!!!!!!!

  5. I think I might need a copy of that book, having come out of a domestic violence situation some years ago, I feel no need to meet or trust anyone else, so Im trying to be happy with being on my own. I love my allotment though, its where I feel the most peace. Although Vivi, I had thought that Graham was your partner! oops.

    1. It’s by Kate Bollic (sp?) – not a remedy for broken relationships but definitely a book to bolster one’s self drive. Particularly good if you love literature as all the references are to historical lit. writers. Onwards and upwards my friend!!!

  6. Vivi, if I might input a male perspective in this conversation. I’m a confirmed bachelor after two wives and 33 years of marriage. I too would have to agree that the freedom has made it possible to explore things that I would never have been able to if still married. Gardening has been such a positive thing that has given me peace and direction in life. Death of a spouse (second wife) was a terrible thing but knowing some things in the universe will remain steady and true (gardens) gave me a connection that I don’t want to give up for another serious relationship.

    It is kind of funny how people can come to a totally wrong conclusion of who a person is before really getting to know them. I’m approaching my eighth decade of life (69) and love life just the way it is. As I look back on life, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t change the decisions I made but maybe just tweak them a bit.

    Vivi, you are an awesome person and I totally wish I lived closer to be able experience an in person friendship. Have a great book reading day.

  7. I continue to be amazed to hear so many stories of how gardens have rescued souls. We are truly lucky to have our little patches of dirt……not just for growing our veggies but for growing ourselves and friendships. Thank you for your lovely comment and long may you have dirty hands. 🙂

  8. I agree so much with what you have written. I am in a committed relationship, but we are strongly independent together and doing our own thing. I handle the allotment or any gardening on my own. I have been asked several times whether my husband (always correcting to partner) is also interested and why doesn’t he come to help? For the same reason I don’t partake in his martial arts; we are different and respect each other’s interests and needs. I enjoy my time alone on the plot, yes it’s hard work but when I’m not near it I miss it.

    I came to gardening, as I suspect many people do, as a way to cope with stress at work. This activity, and my nan’s passing, made me realise life sacrifices and stress weren’t worth it and that I had to pay attention to mental health. I now do something totally different, and I have also decided to take a horticulture course! x

    1. It’s so often true that our alone time in the garden leads us to the answers……. I’m so glad you are now doing the things that keep you well……and starting your course – how wonderful!

  9. Well put Vivi, you echo my thoughts so well.
    Usually it’s men who judge and put you in the box they think you fit. I must find that book in audio as that’s my company on my plot when pottering. Mind you since my shed was broken into my plot does not feel like my haven any more.

    1. I felt like that too when my shed was broken into……but decided not to let ‘them’ get me down and I reclaimed it as my sanctuary – I hope you can do the same.🙂

  10. I love the word crone rather than spinster. It has connotations of wise woman, wisdom learned through living!

    1. Haha – me too.

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