Tag Archives: garden

Mystery solved

You may have wondered why I haven’t posted a blog for a few weeks. Here’s the scoop.

Our weather warmed by mid-April. Our provincial officer of health has promoted outdoor exercise throughout the pandemic. Gardening has become my not-guilty pleasure.

This blog is about a different mystery, also with a happy resolution.

Regular readers may recall a story about my offering to take care of a traffic circle garden in my neighbourhood and a later update. Here’s a related experience that warms my heart.

Late in the fall of 2018, a small brass knob appeared in one of the open spaces that feel vast in a newly planted garden. It seemed right at home and made me smile. My friend, Debbie, who helps with the garden, said it reminded her of a little Buddha head. All last year, we quietly wondered who had left the “gift”.

The answer came this spring.

“Do you take care of this garden?” a 50-something woman with a yoga mat slung over her shoulder asked as she greeted me.

“Yes, with help from a friend.”

“I just wanted to thank you for leaving that.”

“Leaving what?”

“That little brass knob. I placed it there for you because I was happy to see a new garden go in here. I’m so glad you didn’t throw it away.”

“I think it really adds and I’m glad no one has taken it. Thanks for donating it. Do you live in the area?”

“No, I live in the West End, but I come over here for my yoga classes. When I saw that this garden was available a while back, I asked my neighbour if she wanted to sponsor it with me. She thought it would be too far away for us to take care of it.” (Lucky for me, I thought.)

She went on to say that she had bought the little brass knob for a dollar to help out a fellow who was selling odds and ends because he was down on his luck. She wondered what the heck she would do with one knob and threw it into her pocket. When she saw the new garden, she decided this would be good spot for it.

I love the knob. Even more so because I now know the story behind it.


Mrs Tsk Tsk, the Garden, and Me

Last week, I submitted new web copy about the collaborative garden I lead. The membership has evolved since the garden started, and so have our ideas around how it can serve the community best. The old information had to go.

Doing this project revved me up for a more challenging task – revamping my website. I created it in the summer of 2016 when I had stars in my eyes because an editor had chosen to publish one of my essays. I decided it is time to create new material that conveys my current thoughts about this post-retirement pursuit and where it is going.

That’s when Mrs Tsk Tsk showed up, pissed off. She’s my inner critic. She thinks this whole thing – having a website that is all about me, me, me – is frivolous and selfish. I suspect she’s seething even more because I ignored her well-meaning counsel. She advised me to keep a low profile when the idea of publishing my work first started to niggle at me.

It’s no wonder she’s feeling threatened. I used to be so attuned to her voice that I couldn’t pay attention to the friends who urged me to share my writing. I couldn’t even hear the other voices in my head who disagreed with Mrs Tsk Tsk but had been too polite, no, intimidated by her, to speak up.

I still need Mrs Tsk Tsk on my team. An inner critic can keep me out of a lot of hot water. But if I listen to her too much, she can prevent me from even sticking in my toe to check the temperature.

A technique that I’ve started to use with the garden group is beginning to help me manage her. When a topic I expect the gardeners will see from different perspectives is on the agenda, we pass around a talking piece. The person who is holding it can weigh in on the subject, and everyone else’s job is to listen without jumping in to comment until all have had a turn to speak. When we start this way, the discussion and final decision reflect the wisdom and consensus of the group, not the opinion of the most talkative, dominant member. Me, for example.

I had a hunch that leading the garden group would help me grow as a person. It’s true.