Slowly moving

Sanctuary. Shelter. Security.

It’s amazing how much more time I’m inclined to spend outside my bedroom since the plants have made a comeback. Feeling motivated to ignore the heat and consequent lethargy, to get out of lying in bed all day means I’m moving on things that were just thoughts and ideas (that required me to get out of bed to see in action).

Ah, sigh. Think I did this in time for a possible return of the lockdown. And I’m almost afraid to admit what a hard sense of deja vu I’m having today. I sweet this was the exact turn of events last year too. All I need is an April downpour.

One year ago: Good things
Three years ago: Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Five years ago: Weekending

Pump it

I’m now into week 6 (of 10) of the Epic Program (that I mentioned here). And I am officially obsessed. I’ve done a lot of youtube workouts over the last year, but nothing, and I mean nothingand nobody, has challenged, encouraged and made me feel so pumped about being consistent as Caroline Girvan has.

It’s been 14 months since I stopped going to the gym, which until then was a seemingly permanent fixture in my everyday life. I have always been someone who needs change and challenge frequently to keep myself motivated about fitness. So 2020 has been unique in that sense. I had nobody else to depend on but myself. Left to my own devices, no equipment, and a 4×4 feet-ish space of my living room (which I managed to do with here, in Goa and at my folks’ in Wayanad too). I’ve been through an insane variety of exercise routines, and I’ve probably tried every big youtube fitness instructor currently relevant/popular. I even went back to an my trainer from Goa in October last year, training over zoom until February when I began to feel that familiar itch for something new again.

So on March 1, I decided to give the Epic program a shot. Even though I was intimidated at the idea of a 10 week commitment, I decided I wouldn’t let completion perfectionism get in the way of starting. If it didn’t work out for me, I am allowed to stop, right? Right.

In about 10 days though, I was motivated to swap my resistance bands and waterbottles for a real pair of weights. It was a sign I was really getting into it. I finally caved and bought myself a pair after a whole year of making do, because I think going back to the gym is truly a distant dream now.

Over the days, I’ve realised this is an insanely good routine. Caroline is fantastic with her programming, and I love that her focus is strength and agility not just physically, but mentally too. I love how she stresses honouring where you are at and slowly building up to whatever goal you may have, junking all “ideals” and benchmarks. Her focus is always quality over quantity, encouraging me to go hard but not necessarily long. Which is important for someone like me.

What can I say, this is just the change and challenge I needed. In the last five weeks Epic has steadily but significantly challenged my skills, my willpower and strength — of body and mind. The diffiulty gradually increases, so I have been able to ease into the newer, more advanced moves, but already can see progress.

5 weeks in, 5 weeks to go. This is the point at which I usually get fidgety and need to change things up again. But somehow I am waking up every morning, pumped to exercise quickly. In fact the anticipation begins the previous night. My interest in workout music playlisting is back. I prepare myself for the insanity that are these workouts. And I love the burn. My body has responded very well and I’ve already experienced significant change in toning, sculpting and lifting capacity.

I am eager to finish this, see how much more my body and performance will change. And then I want to get to Epic II — the next 10-week program.

If you’ve been in regular exercise, are in good form and want to amp things up because you’re just tired of working out at home, Caroline is excellent.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: What are you willing to let crumble, now more than ever?
Three years ago: Where the cares of the day seem to slowly fade away
Five years ago: Maybe I’m finally making my peace with being mediocre

Taking root again

Finally, after procrastinating over it since January, after looking at my dust, barren, forlorn balcony for three months, I got down to it. I sorted out the handful of neglected, nearly-dead plants in my balcony.

I have had this chore — “Sort plants!!!” — on my to do list since the beginning of February. Sorting involved weeding out some plants that I could not recucitate that were in desperate need of being put down, making space for some new potting mix, splitting and transplanting some overcrowded pots, repotting some long overdue pots, reorganising the space in the balcony and lugging all 50+ pots over from my folks’ to ours.

Again, it’s just timing. I’ve been busy, and then lazy, and then it got so hot so fast, just something or the other has been occupying my time, and I have been putting this off because it needed a good chunk of at least a couple of hours on hand and I just didn’t seem to want to do it without.

Eventually, despite all my attempts to plan at this, it happened in the most unplanned way. On a whim, thanks to a burst of inspiration that struck at 6pm yesterday, I dragged out this big long trough-pot that doubles up as my mixing station, and I got to work. Of course I didn’t finish in one go, but I got a lot done. Continued this morning — wondering why I didn’t think to just do it over a couple of days, a couple of sessions, instead of waiting for the opportune (and elusive) window of 2+ free hours.

It felt SO damned good to mix earth and water, to have dirt beneath my fingernails, to get down on my haunches and to plant. I called it a whim, but I remembered again that this is no mere whim. I turn to the earth at very specific times. And I know what this is about. It’s a sign of life. Of the end of a hiatus. Of grounding. Of growing. Of coming back alive, yet again.

One year ago: Feel good? Or feel really fucking shitty first?
Two years ago: Going the distance
Three years ago: March

Life and light

Being self employed, working from home since pre-pandemic times has meant building a routine around having nowhere to go. Our days swing between waking up and getting straight to work on busy days, and sometimes having the luxury to lounge about.

Lately, we’ve been trying to advance our time of rising. Slowly, without being too rigid with myself, I have been waking up 5-10 minutes earlier. It’s not because I have anywhere to be, it’s more because I like to have the luxury of moving slowly. And gradually, this has become a loved part of my slow mornings. To wake up, brush my teeth and still have nearly a whole hour to either just sit in the sun, to read or write, or finish the unfinished episode of whatever I was watching the previous night, as I drink my hot water; even before I get going for the day.

To begin the day slowly, mindfully. To have space and silence. To catch the morning sunlight. To be in the comfort of that has come to mean a lot lately, and it’s one of the things I am very grateful for, to have control over our schedules, how we work and having nowhere to report to at the start of every day.

One year ago: What progress looks like these days
Two years ago: Back to base
Five years ago: Pretending to be brave

The heart wants what it wants

I clearly didn’t get enough of the forest this time around. Or the family time. Or the extended holiday. So this morning, I did a mildly loony thing. I woke up at the crack of dawn, packed a bag and drove out all the way back to Wayanad at 5 30 am. Just this time, all by myself.

I have journeyed alone before. By air, by bus, by train. Explored places and spaces on my own. I’m very well-versed with travelling alone and being in my own company. But I’ve not done a solo trip in a long while now. And I’ve never done a road trip all by myself. Perhaps with good reason — it isn’t the safest thing to imagine myself doing. And yet this morning, I weighed the pros and cons and even the prospect of any of the cons striking suddenly seemed very manageable. And so I went, grabbing a moment of spontaneity with an energy and vibrance I haven’t felt before. I’m usually very quickly rationalising, being logical and moving to “doing it right”, focusing on efficiency and sensibility of any impulse or desire that shows up. But also, this has been shifting lately. There’s a lot more give for me to play with, room in my mind to expand and relax into, and move towards such impulses quickly.

And so I went. When it was still dark out, but with signs of life creeping out. Morning walkers bustling about quietly, street dogs still splayed across the middle of the streets, headlights on. And here’s the best part: a full goddamned, bright as hell moon hanging low, kissing the horizon. Illuminating the highway for me.

I was practically high on having set out by myself. My car was as light as I felt inside of me. One little tote bag with two days worth of clothes, a packed lunch, bottle of water. It felt like a picture of agility, lightness, play. All the things I wish for more of this year.

For the next 5.5 hours it was just me, eyes on the highway, hands on the wheel, foot on the pedal, music in my ears. Being alone, without having to think about a single other soul has its advantages. You get the be the boss of your own time and agenda. And so I drove at a steady speed enough to reduce my drive time from previous trips home by nearly 2 hours. I got to listen to entire playlists of my choice, and I got to just be free.

I surprised my folks and family already there, by walking through the door at 11 am. I’d said goodbye just 4 days before and driven back to Bangalore with VC, with not the slightest intention or hint that I’d be back there all over again.

The look on all of their faces made it all worth it.

***

This felt like a culmination of a series of events that have led to it. From weeks and months of learning to listen in, keenly. Making space for true desires. Understanding what I need in order to listen to my heart. Giving myself priority. Allowing my intuition to guide the way. Choosing from a place of strength and autonomy. Being in the driver’s seat of my own life.

My heart feels wide open and full, because of it.

Some things I want to do more of, to facilitate joyful, heartful experiences like this:

  • Listening to my heart more often than my head
  • Nourishing my heart’s wants, even when I have to choose what my head says
  • Ask myself “so what?” more often

One year ago: The body keeps the score
Two years ago: On duality
Three years ago: I’ve been reading books of old
Five years ago: Emptying my cup

Reflections

It’s been so dreary, rainy and cold this week. I usually love this weather and winter in Bangalore is one of the redeeming joys of living here. But this incessant rain, constant clammy wetness and bone-chilling cold has me feeling very, very gloomy.

This morning though, I woke up to this view at 6:40 am. Sunshine after the rain has fallen. Crisp, bright, snappy. This balcony view has been a constant for more than 75% of this year. From feeling comfortable with life minimised to just this, to getting fully sick of it and feeling stifled and resenting it — I’ve gone full circle. Currently I’m somewhere in between lets-get-out-of-here and when-can-I-settle-in-again.

It’s officially that time of year, whether I like to or not there is looking back. And there are reflections. Pandemic year epiphanies have flown thick and frequent but I’m boiling it down to just a few things. 2020 has consistently (and deeply) shown:

  • Humans are more alike than different. Our lives and similar are intertwined in ways we really will never know, but if we allow to lean into this our small, simple worlds suddenly open up in enriching ways.
  • Our daily existence is small, needs very little to get by. While humbling and liberating, this has also shown me how little it takes to shrink into a tiny, isolating little world.
  • There will always be something to despair about. Every day developments, big and small, that will spin me into a kind of smallness and helpless that makes everything seem overwhelming. However, there is tremendous power and agency to be found in my smallness. In just simply owning it, without trying to be anything else.
  • The best, most healing practices that I have returned to time and time and time again, to find peace, grounding and clarity have not been meditation or journaling or even therapy and the like (though, all of that has helped too). This year I turned far more frequently to simple, small and mundane activities like cleaning up, cooking, working out and tending to myself, my home, my immediate environment, my needs to bring myself back. When the world shrank and closed in, the plants in my balcony, the oven I cranked up more times than ever before, the broom and mop, my running shoes and earphones have given me a solid way to feel present and in the moment.

It reminded me of this Rainbow Rowell quote I first read in 2017 about the goodness in building a capacity for joy in small, ordinary things that can really, really steady us. I wrote about in such a different light back then. I see how different my world was, hoe differently I felt. And how much I’ve changed since then. And how differently the same quote speaks to me today.

One year ago: Friendship and owning my power
Two years ago: I need to free my mind and see what I’m feeling

Looking for typical

We’ve been back for more than a couple of days now, but the disorientation that came from being back in an atmosphere where fear and chaos are so high, compared to the relaxed, peaceful, positive environment we were in, has lasted longer than anticipated.

While away, not having access to a newspaper and not looking at my phone meant I missed the big, horrific news of last week entirely. It only really hit me when we returned to a small mountain of newspapers at our doorstep (because we forgot to tell the newspaper guy we were going away) with a leaf carrying a piece of horrific news lying face up on the very top of it. And then, I steadfastly avoided the news after. I just don’t have the emotional or mental or psychological bandwidth to deal with it at this point. Not without feeling like there is absolutely no iota of future left for us.

The strange thing is, even without the information onslaught, without the doom-scrolling, without even looking out for it, and in fact avoiding it, I feel clued in. I feel the horror. I feel the anger. Simmering. This is the energy of the collective at work, and I feel clued in to it.

So I came back feeling very disoriented. A vast dissonance between the borderline utopia I went away to, a bubble of safety and happiness, and the grotesque world I came back to. It took me four days of hemming and hawing, trying to drag myself back to some semblance of normalcy, feeling (and giving in to) the need to sleep more than normal, before I felt like myself again.

I complained to VC time and again about wanting to “get on with it” and somehow just being unable to. The mornings have been slow, and the saving grace has been joining R’s morning workout class. That gets me going in some manner. We did some chores. But mostly everything felt a bit alien for the last few days. We ordered in, my MIL sent over some food, and I didn’t cook a single thing. Until today.

This evening, as VC washed the dishes, cleaned the chicken, and I mopped up the kitchen and planned what to marinate the chicken in, I felt a shift in my body. A switch to a prior state of normalcy, within me at least. No matter that the world is full tilt going bonkers.

This is my reaction to chaos, I’ve realised. I go into slow-mo, the urge to hide, cower and hibernate is strong, my brain gets dull and it becomes difficult to function. And I look, desperately for any glimmer of normal, typical, standard, mundane even.

But that has been the hardest thing to come by this year, no? How much more will 2020 throw at us?

Anyone else feeling raw, open, unmasked, exposed? And not in a nice way?

One year ago: October
Two years ago: In the nick of time
Three years ago: What colour is your sky?

Making gardens

This past Sunday, right after my weekly thorough home cleaning, my sister and I cooked a giant brunch that we ate lazily with my parents. We followed it up with coffee, carrot cake and pain au chocolat. Then, when my parents retired for naps, my sister and I got down to dirty business.

Just like the old days. When Sunday lunches were had together, lazily, in that post weekly-oil-massage-and-bath haze. And as soon as my parents would turn in for a nap my sister and I would begin some serious afternoon play. In the garden, mostly getting our hands in the mud, mixing it up with all kinds of nasty stuff (I remember atta and talcum powder, amongst other things) making concoctions and serving it up to imaginary guests at our imaginary restaurant or home or whatever else.

Except this past weekend, we embarked on some overdue repotting of some of my large houseplants that had long outgrown the pots they were in. Same, same, but different. All these years later, getting our hands in the mud is still our idea of fun and play.

The alocasia has been sprouting leaves furiously and consistently for over a year now, but I noticed some weeks ago that the leaves were beginning to get a tad smaller than usual. I’ve had a larger pot ready for it since December last year, so it was about time. The fiddle leaf fig, that I’ve named Salma, is doing well, but I read up about FLF health and it turns out they require well drained, loose soil, and infrequent but predictable watering patterns, in order to sprout those large waxy, shiny leaves we love. For some reason the nursery gave it to me with some compacted, hard-packed soil that I was convinced wasn’t working.

So we made a session of it. Mixing compost mix, cocopeat and garden soil with neem chunks and what not. Transferring things from one pot to another, uprooting my plants — which seriously gave me so much anxiety — and repotting them. And while we were at it, I also managed to separate some Alocasia babies that had sprouted by the sides of the main plant, and got two more plants out of it!

The propagation got it’s weekly bath in the kitchen sink, all the various receptacles got a thorough wash, and the cuttings were placed back in delicately. Next week they will find home in the earth, far, far away from this ledge the’ve been perched on for months now where I have been rooting them for my father.

***

There’s a definite increase in the number of butterflies and bugs and bees that visit the balconies of late. The other day a massive Monarch butterfly flew into my living room, wandered around for a bit, flitting from one plant to the next, even though none of them are flowering plants, settling on my armchair for a few seconds and left. And then, last week out of nowhere, we had a swarm of dragonflies passing through. They hung around for a good three days, but I noticed that at night, groups of them would cling to my pink bougainvillea, hanging upside down, asleep.

The garden is doing its thing, me thinks.

It feels like sigs of life are cropping up around me everywhere.

(I’m sorry this has turned into a full-on commentary about plants at large, and is probably not what you signed up for. But it is what it is. For now. Oh well.)

One year ago: It was all yellow
Four years ago: Empty

Nourish

Feed your desires.

Keep your heart warm.

Stay grounded. Grow. Thrive.

These pictures were taken sporadically, across last week. I like when the picture reel on my phone tells me stories when I look back at it on a lazy Sunday evening after a busy week.

I see in this triptych, for example, this sequence that is a pretty accurate summation of what I have been feeling and staying with. The need to cocoon, go inwards, to listen closely to the whispers of my being, and tend to the heart of it all with unfussy basics. Vitalising food, plenty of water, any thing that takes me to my roots.

It’s been such an up and down week, but the weekend was utterly fulfilling and has me brimming over. Winding down today with a light hum of gratitude reverberating within me.

One year ago: Running updates
Two years ago: Walking high on the wire
Three years ago: What coming home feels like: making friends edition
Four years ago: Down and up again

In-between lives

Every time that I think this one’s life is over, she shows me, almost defiantly, that it is not. Her leaves have been strangely compressed and perpetually curled up with no flowers to be seen for months now, and nothing I did seemed to help. Moved her around to a different spot in the balcony, loosened the soil as bougainvillea like, added fertiliser, reduced watering greatly — still nada.

I know bougainvillea much prefer bright, hot sunlight and don’t care much for the rain, and this is a problem in my home. I get adequate sunlight throughout the day, but it’s not direct and it’s not the fresh morning sun that flowering plants love. Also it’s been consistently rainy here in Bangalore for the last few weeks now. So that could be one reason she is seemingly not doing too well. However, this deduction wasn’t accurate because my other bougainvillea is doing fine. Great, even. With bushy, light and feathery, graceful fronds of white blossoms billowing in the monsoony winds, right next to this one.

Anyhow, last week I said out loud that maybe it’s time to just let this one go. Put her to rest, and use this large pot for something else. Almost immediately, within the next few days, she burst into this profusion of the salmon-est-salmony blooms, reminding me of the reason why I picked this plant from the nursery, in the first place. This exact shade of orange-salmon-blushing is what I imagine “the pink of life” is.

I’m growing to see more than meets the eye with my plants, and I’m revelling in how they respond to how much energy I direct towards them. And this whole episode spoke to me at so many levels.

One year ago: Stay and stay a while
Two years ago: I want the truth to be said
Three years ago: Finding life again
Four years ago: Lines and dreams

Twelve

Happy 12th, to the boy who doesn’t hesitate one bit to tell me how much he loves making a life and sharing a home with me. Reminding me so often, that it’s the little things that make a life.

What would I do without your unabashed, childlike, honesty?

Past anniversaries: eleven, tennineeightsevensixfivefourthreetwoone.

We’re going through changes

So it’s not just me. The Economist has this amazing piece on how Covid has changed lifestyles significantly. It’s safe to say this is not a mere passing trend, but change from within that is here to stay for a while longer than just the next fad. It was very comforting to read how the world over, we have turned to cooking, cleaning, DIY and home-making, craft and arts, gardening, pottery, baking, embroidery and knitting and the like to find some semblance of peace amidst the chaos, and our centres in the face of being thrown off kilter completely.

I realise that this too is global. Not just the destruction and chaos of the pandemic, but also the troubling churn that is also an opportunity for transformation that it is offered us all.

This impetus to find different ways to be has been triggered within us all partly from realising how undependable the current ways of the world are. How fragile and illusionary they are, how little support they offer. And most importantly, the gaping holes of inequity that have been exposed.

We were never meant to slave away like cogs in a relentless capitalist wheel in the way that we do. Running on the hamster wheel endlessly, chasing after one milestone after another, like mirages in a vast, desolate desert. But we were willing to cash in on whatever it offered, in the belief that it will somehow remain forever. This was the road to happiness. But how quickly all of that went to shit. And how quickly the discomfort struck each and every one of us, in some manner or another.

I wonder if the changes I am seeing — and I truly am seeing them in folks around me — are in a small manner coming from an awakening. A slow, slow return to the certain primal ways we were meant to exist in. Working with our hands, nourishing ourselves, finding pockets of rest, looking for joy in things other than making a living, doing the things that matter to our lives first, before feeding corporations became the only means to making a living.

Thinking about living and life first, and allowing the means to organically emerge from there. Rather than retrofitting the means to a living, to the kind of life we are then saddled with.

In my own space, I know that the slow down that this has caused has permeated more than just the pace at which I function. I have been more observant, more aware, I feel more in-tune with the world around me, I feel fiercely about certain tenets I now want to live my life by, I see the ways in which my internal and external worlds echo and mirror each other, and therefore the need to find balance, moderation and sustainability.

This didn’t just come out of nowhere. It came from getting down to the basics again. From literally getting down on my hands and knees to clean my home, chop veggies, grow plants, dig the soil, water fresh blooms, wash my loos, clean the dustbin, mindfully stock and store groceries amongst other things.

It made it impossible not to observing keenly what it takes to live life, and what (and how much!) I lost from dissociating from the acts of basic living completely. In outsourcing, I severed that connection to the very hands-on acts of living life. Putting food on the table, keeping a hygienic home, being curious about how much I consume.

Somehow, this made me aware of the plurality of life around me. The diversity in resources. And the pressing need to bring back balance to our relationship with it all. Watching nature, whether in my little balcony garden, or at the vegetable and fruit vendor, or in the millions of thought bombs I have read about these things (because everybody is talking about it now more than ever), has really made me realise the need to pause. Pause before I act.

Now that I am back to running outdoors, I catch myself literally watching, observing, looking up at the trees more, noticing blooms, catching unlight speckling through the leaves, smiling to see flocks of parakeets rushing from tree to tree, finding joy in withered, yellowed trees as much as lush, verdant ones. Watching, seeing keenly has shown me what natural resilience looks like.

Isn’t it amazing how it is the trees, birds, water, animals and insects that are thriving in the middle of a pandemic, while we are perishing faster than we can keep track of. We’re cowering into the corners of our homes, shrouded in masks and scarves to keep safe, while something else, something outdoor, stronger and more resilient than us is enduring.

There are lessons in survival in natural cycles. In balance and organic timing. In patience and timely growth.

The more I notice and become aware of these things, in the quiet moments when I am catching chai on the balcony, or running in the park, or simply watering my plants for the day, the more it percolates in some way into my life, my actions, my habits, my beliefs.

I cant unsee the glaring evidence that balance fuels survival, harmony breeds joy, equity births prosperity. So, in my own little way, working with my hands and doing the work has been an attempt at bringing balance back into our lives. A practice in adopting a more benevolent attitude, a slower rhythm that runs in respectful pace alongside my world, not trying to always get ahead.

And it is also impossible to ignore the joy that has come from it. You’ll know by now how much being involved in gardening has been the mirror I held up to my own internal processes. The clarity in thought, the ability to hold the murky days, keeping my head up even when inside I am going under, finding space to hold the sadness and pain that has come from all of this, working with a focus on what I want to do and why the work is important to me — I believe it is a function of returning to who I am. All thanks to stripping down to the bare necessities, and surprisingly finding inexplicable satisfaction in doing mundane chores.

The tide is turning.

***

Post title lifted from old favourite song that has an apt sounding line, but in totality has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

One year ago: Gratitude fix
Two years ago: August

Chai time joy

I have mostly spent covid days in the slow, but definitive surrender of that smidgen of reassurance that I/we are in control.

Gradually, over the weeks and months, I’ve had a stringent unlearning of much that I took to be true, small things I thought I thought I had a handle on, daily reminders of some iota of certainty even when the world has its way of turning topsy turvy, as it has been long before covid.

Thoughts on the economy? No longer sure. My personal politics? WIP and constantly shifting. Relationships? Vastly uncertain. The environment and planet as a whole? RUIN.

In the stripping away of all the things I cling to for solidity, and in embracing the natural order of un-knowing, I have found certainty in chai. I’m not even joking slightly, when I say that. Probably an extension of general homebody-ness and domesticity, but this has become something of an essential daily habit, but loaded with meaning.

In the ritualism of that single cup of tea I make every single evening, in that little-over-one-teaspoon of sugar I allow myself everyday, in having perfected the exact ratio of milk to water, and in actually finally understanding the right timing and sequence of ingredients to be added for the result the way I like it, I have found meaning.

Don’t ask me of what hahaha. But it’s there, and my days feel incomplete without it. It’s not just the making and consuming said cup of tea but the entire production around it. In ensuring there’s milk on hand, brewing it just right, thinking in advance about the little tea time snack for the day, getting it all done at the time, and then — the best part — sitting in my chair by the window and savouring it slowly.

Four years ago: Just read

Gifts

I just want to remember this as the day I was having a truly flat, unproductive morning wandering about my home; when I noticed this. This exact red flower that showed in a powerful image in a dream-like state during a visualisation I did at therapy last week, was suddenly real, and within grasping reach. It bloomed out of seemingly nowhere, because the plant has been in hibernation for a while now, after profusely flowering through summer.

N called it the “wondrous ways of the self and the universe.”

I called it a gift.

PS: Also, can we just acknowledge that this is now an infinite scroll of pictures from my balcony garden? Okay? Okay.

One year ago: Naked
Two years ago: Talking about worries and problems, people

Green reflections

I have indulged in my plants a lot more lately than I have even last year, when this bug bit me. This was not a pandemic-induced habit. I have really given of my myself to my plants lately — losing track of time and spending endless amounts of it just absorbed, my hands dirty and trimming, pruning and fixing things, making of it an entire day’s activity and feeling utterly satisfied at the end.

In the plants I have seen natural cycles of birth, death, rebirth and hibernation with humbling proximity that has comforted and supported me.

As much as I have given, I have received in return.

Today, I took all my indoor plants out for their periodic couple of days in the sun. And I looked around the home and realised how sparse it all looks minus the green spots.

There is true life in plants, in how easily they lend that live to the spaces around them, wherever they may be placed. And I mean life more than the stuff that makes leaves sprout and shrivel.

As the author of this piece in the New Yorker quotes Sue Stuart Smith, the author of A Well Gardened Mind; I was interested in the unconscious aspects of gardening—the symbolism, and the level of metaphor.

There has been plenty of that. If you have read the blog recently, you’d know how much I have spoken about my plants and the reflections they offer of my life and process. The unconscious, the symbolic, the metaphors, and how much I have looked to them for meaning.

When we sow a seed, we plant a narrative of future possibility.

It is what I have gained the most. The spots of green are a bonus.

One year ago: Run
Four years ago: Friyay