Friday, 29 May 2009

Sex, life, death and everything in between...

Once again the parallel process of gardening, plants and our lives came clearly into focus on WTA this week...there were celebrations of births and lives and the sadness of a death.

At one end of the week we had a wonderful birthday and celebration of 70 years of life and at the other a death...hardly premature after 98 years.... but with as with all humans still loaded with mixed emotions and a sense of loss a various levels. We like our plants, are planted, germinate, grow, go to seed and eventually, in turn, return to the soil.

Carl Gustav Jung in his masterly Memories Dreams and Reflections doesn't pull any punches when he describes death as a "fearful piece of brutality". The Swiss Analytical Psychologist reckons in dying : " a human being is torn away from us, and what remains is the icy stillness of death". But the psychoanalytic mystic is also quick to point out there is another side to death which can also appear to be a joyful event. Jung says, "In the light of eternity it (death) is a wedding, a mysterium coniunctionis. The soul, as it were, attains its missing half it achieves wholeness."

Maybe that's why with the premature death or end a crop, even a after a after a long fruitful life on allotment, there's a bit of sadness for growers, because deep down, we see played out in the soil, a reflection of our own lives and the lives of those around us. And maybe that's why we love growing things year after year because the whole life and death cycle played out in the dirt brings to us a wholeness. It's no wonder working the soil keeps us grounded!

On WTA I commemorate mates, family of choice and family of origin whose souls have "attained their missing half" and found their "wholeness" in the crops I plant. Each year grow Norm 'The Vet' and Captain Ken's runner beans, Fred the Chemist's gladioli Shane the cattleman's spuds and 'Technical' Tom's parsnips. Next week "Bobbie's Leeks" will be planted out. As Jung might have said, my veg provide a myth through which I understand works for me.

I'm glad to report Johnny Bridgemiester is still in the land of the living after returning from holiday. He swung by this morning to cast his weed hating eye over WTA and have a yarn. Some tough, hand to hand combat with some weeds and grass in Sheffield yesterday had left him nicely tanned but unfortunately too battle fatigued for action on WTA. I was able to show him a fabulous row of potatoes we planted in September last year with hopes for a fabulous Christmas crop! I'd given up hope of seeing anything and had written the off as 'lost' until I saw them poke their leaves through the soil last week. We all love a resurrection story....Grow Well.

1 comment:

  1. Stuart Brandreth11 June 2009 at 05:51

    A heart-warming read, Fran would be proud.

    Now we've found your site we'll be regular visitors to WTA!

    Stay tuned for our Wellington Mills, yet-to-be-named, permie food forest and new life adventure, about to germinate next to the Jarrah and Marri forests just east of Bunbury, WA.

    Love to all at WTA,
    Stuart & Sherryl