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I was thinking of you.
The garden is a delicious shade of green at the moment. It’s my favourite kind of green. The green of new growth. Amongst all this glorious green are little pops of colour, mainly from the madness of tulips which are planted in pots. I love these riots of colour as much as I love the green especially after the bare of winter, it feels so hopeful. The flower beds are starting to fill in with all of this fresh green growth of early spring. They hold so much promise. When I am in the gardenI tidy the odd bed and move seedlings from one pot to another. I hold back from the mad planting that I want to do, waiting for the holy grail of Labour weekend, the mythical point when frosts end and little ones can be planted. I am glad that I am waiting, not just for the success of my seedlings, but also because while things are growing into each other I notice the gaps that are still there to fill, which I will do in a couple of weekends time. I have three days and I intend to plant like a mad women.
I meet a friend for a drink. We catch up every so often. A treasured relaxed friendship that has comfortably evolved over the years. It had been some months since we had seen each other and they asked “What was I planning in the garden?” I went to reply and then felt a bit stumped. What was I planning this season? My mind quickly scurried to find an answer. I was puzzled. Why didn’t I know what I was planning? I knew I had been in the gardens working when the weather allowed. What had I been doing? My mind drifted back to winter and the delicious books I read which talked of planting plans and colour palettes and how sure I would create better, more curated plans than in years in the past. How did it happen that come October I have nothing concrete to share with my friend, I wondered. Then I thought of my late July, August and September and realised life had intervened, my plans had been diverted as had my days, to other things. My attention had been stolen away from the delight of planning a garden. I knew what I would plant in the coming months to fill above mentioned gaps would not be the curated beauty I dreamed of in winter. It would be something else. It would be different from last year as it has been the year before. What would grow would be what survived heat, rain, wind and digging pups. I would see beauty in what ever grows. I reply to my friend ‘the usual…”
I realised I am a creative toddler. The other day I was reading Alice Vincent’s weekly Savour newsletter and she shared thoughts on her writing practice, describing herself as a teenager based on the number of years she had been writing. I thought if she is a teenager than, I, with only a few years under my belt with writing and photography, am a toddler. I am still finding my feet. I am a toddler, a beginner, a learner when it comes to my creative work. After a week of imposter syndrome, feeling uncertain about my abilities and my head was filled with the constant “What am I doing?” conversations, it felt good to effectively throw a bit of a tantrum about what I am doing and just let go and embrace. I like the idea of being different ages in one moment. I can be mid age in years, yet still young in my creative journey. I leaned into this idea a bit more and thought, what do toddlers do best? They play. They create. They make a mess. They learn. They have fun. They go up and down in their moods. They are 100 % themselves and they are 100% honest and I think that is what I just have to do. Be all of theses things together. I also need to remember that a toddler grows as they learn and create and that they will eventually become a child, teenager and then adult. And these are the ages of your creative journey.
I recently picked up a copy of Do Interesting - Notice, Collect, Share by Russell Davies. The Do books are something I love and this one quickly became a favourite. Onew of the ideas I found was to share things that you think others would like so I thought I would include this as part of my newsletter. So please enjoy things I noticed and thought you might like:
I’ve a number of books on order which seem to be taking a very long time to arrive in the post. In the meantime I embraced the re read and spent an evening or two rediscovering Austin Kleon’s “Steal like an Artist”. As mentioned I’ve been feeling a bit creatively meh of late so it was a good read to try and jump start things.
I’ve created another pinterest collection. 20 images that encapsulated how I felt in September. Visit it here for a look. May it offer some inspiration.
For any one navigating, thinking or wondering about the menopuase journey, p.volve have an excellent exercise programme designed to support the various changes in your body. I never knew that heavy weights could help with how you feel. It’s been such an interesting programme to sign up for. I’ve learnt so much.
I was sad to hear that Julia Atkinson-Dunn was winding up the beautiful space that is the Unearthed for new exciting projects . I have cherished what Julia creates as well as the support that she offers to artists and gardeners alike. I was rather honoured to be included as part of Unearthed and if you wish you can pop over and read more about my creative journey .