Posted on 20 Comments

Taking stock…..and taking stock

If I had known, last year, what I know now would I have done things differently? Possibly. Probably not. A few tweaks here and there but nothing major. This time last year I was just grateful to be in the garden at all…..with my little broken wings……I had no idea I was on a course for making a huge decision. The fact that I wouldn’t do things differently gives me confidence; over the last couple of years my little patch of soil has shown me it can feed me and nurture me and keep me whole.

This time of year is known as the ‘hungry gap’: the time when last year’s harvests have been eaten and this year’s are yet to grow. I have, by trial and error, over a few years, learned how to keep myself going over winter……with the stored produce and the veggies I can keep going in the ground during the cold months. It is about thiBroad beanss time of year when I go through the cupboards, the freezer, the shed to work out what’s left and what I can make from it……

So……it is this time of year, once more, when I take stock of what’s left, what goodies there are to be turned into meals:……..but I find, as I weigh the beans and count the onions and clock the bottles of toms and eyeball the squash…..that I am quietly crying…….I stop in my tracks. I’m actually really crying and I can’t turn off the tears, the little sobs catch in my throat. ……I realise, I am taking stock not of my veggies….but of my life. I slump on the kitchen chair, nursing my tears and slowly I begin to see it…….. I have been in a ‘hungry gap’ for years…….my belly has been full, but my soul has been depleted…to the point of starvation. I am empty, totally drained….and empty.

I no longer know who I am. The little moments in the kitchen garden have kept a tiny heartbeat going…..but I don’t want a tiny heartbeat…..I want a thump, thump, thumping beat. So I have decided to follow my heart….with it’s quiet little beat. I have decided to feed my soul. I have decided to look after myself for a while. I have decided to let the kitchen garden look after me this year……and walk away from the job I love but which doesn’t love me back.

I don’t know what I will do or what will happen next……but I know whatever it is that I will give it my all and I will find myself again. I know that I will be living true to myself. I know that the sun on my cheeks, the air in my hair, the buzz of insects, the beautiful flashes of colour in the garden…..the company, the tea, the thrill of the harvest, the smell of damp soil, the solitude, the birds that sing to me…….the simplicity of simply being…..will feed my soul and restore me.

The garden has it’s seasons……this is the season of newness, of life, of growth. We all feel it. After many springs my spring has finally come and I will grow once more………I hope your spring is happening for you too and that you find a way to fill your ‘hungry gap’.

20 thoughts on “Taking stock…..and taking stock

  1. I am exactly where you are now Vivi. I am trying to figure out a way to find the passion (or contentment) in life again and I am absolutely certain we can both do that! Yahoo to an year of enlightenment ❤

    1. Yes, we can!

  2. Sometimes it’s a brave soul that follows their heart. Part of this adventure we call life is not knowing what is around the next or perhaps not knowing how many seeds planted will yield a seedling. Thank you for sharing the adventure.

    1. Not knowing is scary……but also exhilarating. If we don’t try we won’t ever know eh? 😉

  3. Viv,
    First your writing is wonderful and I hope you write as well as garden. Thank you for sharing with us. I have grown children and while looking for work after leaving Homeland Security/immigration I was not finding one for a year. My husband said I should go back to school as I have always wanted to. So, here I sit with six classes and an internship between me and my masters degree to be a professional counselor. I am filled with fear now that classes are almost over and seeing you doing this is helping me to know people other than me are stepping out of their comfort zone and changing their lives. Thank you for showing me that I can do this because you are doing it. I will keep enjoying you, supporting you and so relating to what you are doing.
    Biggest hugs from Vermont,

    1. Oh!!!! You will SOOOOOO do it!!!!….and what a wonderful profession/vocation you are entering. Three cheers for you! It’s hard to go back to school (I know, I did it at 40!)……..and here you are ready to graduate. Pat yourself on the back….and take a cup of tea into the garden to breathe for a moment.! Go you! X

  4. I’m in the same boat. Time to retire, take my trip to Italy meet relatives I’ve never met and relax. This will be my new life.

    1. Have a ball! Have the time of your life! Have your life. 🙂

  5. Lovely written, your words created a small tear in my eyes. I have a depression and I am trying to find my self again. I have turned bitter over the years.
    I stopped my studie for a year, and in my spare time I notice I garden a lot. I love the fresh air, the sun shining on my face and making my hands dirty. The Worms, the bees and seeing how those Tiny seeds make my heart skip a beat out of joy. Gardening makes me happy and I realise now life is not about being succesful, rich and having a perfect life. The garden shows me I am capabel to take care of myself and being independent. I know my dream now, I want to live self sufficiënt and I am so proud of you you took this chance! I really respect you a lot! Thank you for writing this.

    1. Bless you!……I hope your garden continues to feed you….in every possible way. X

  6. This moved me to tears…so poignant, yet so full of hope of renewed life and fresh beginnings. A soul as caring and as strong as yours is sure to succeed in whatever path you choose. Thank you for allowing us to tag along on your incredible journey.

    1. Thank you. X

  7. Vivi, what better time to start a new season of life than when new life is beginning every where. Spring time is a good time to restore the soul by being outside in nature. New garden plans are fresh in the mind; new plants are growing in the pots; and the feel of revived soil is under foot. It’s a great time to be outside breathing in the air of Spring time, don’t you think? I’m seven, no eight, years into retirement and six years into Terra Nova Gardens. Once you get into the routine of working in the garden instead of working at a job, your fears will disappear. It will amaze you at how easily you will move into the new routine of life and perhaps wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

    Have a wonderful day as you move toward a new season of life.

    Nebraska Dave

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words…..I can’t wait now for it all to begin. Happy sowing to you. 🙂

  8. Hi Vivi
    I cannot tell you how pleased I am to find your blog & Facebook page. I found you by accident. I had been watching Sean on utube as I had searched how to sow cornflowers. I suffer from M.E & Fibromyalgia and life for the last ten years has been a constant, painful battle. Two weeks ago Something happened within my family which result in a complete mental & physical meltdown. I After pulling myself together I found myself sitting in my garden in the spring sunshine. Not sure what happened but I knew that whatever it took I needed to get back out there and start growing again. This is something I did pre illness. I just know that nature and nurturing things is going to help. My body might be slightly broken but if I don’t do something quick my mind will break too. I love flowers but your enthusiasm has encouraged me to try a few vegetables. I just wanted to thank you & Sean for your Vlogs and look forward to seeing your new venture go from strength to strength.

    1. ……I hope your garden starts to heal you soon……I’m sure it will. Lose yourself in the soil and the silence and the sowing.

  9. Beautifully written. I admire your commitment and bravery in your decision. Many of us forget the importance of nurturing our souls as well as our bodies. I look forward to following you on your journey.

    1. Thank you. I can’t wait!

  10. Well written Vivi. You are a strong woman. Here is also someone who has a difficult time. And I would not have a vegetable garden this year. But I decided to dig and to sow the garden! It is so good to get my thoughts straight while working in the garden. It is good for body and mind. I firmly believe that this is also for your healing Vivi, The Lord has given us the earth to edit. He knew what we needed! A big hug and greeting Sean.

    1. Let the garden healing begin. 🙂

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