A mindful gardener

29 May

I have mentioned before that I used to be someone who takes far too much on. Anyone who knows me will be able to testify that I have, over the years, been a bit of a compulsive course-takerer. Life long learning has always been my thing, it’s not just an empty phrase on my CV, it’s actually true.

But that all changed when my youngest was born. I handed in my dissertation for my Masters when he was two weeks old and then put the lid on my course taking days. Give or take the odd course in medieval outcasts and one very enjoyable recent-ish creative writing class I have not done any courses for a couple of years. Maybe I was suffering course withdrawal symptoms which saw me flicking through the Guardian one day a few months ago, wondering what new challenge might come my way, when I spotted an article about the Mindfulness in Schools programme.

It really grabbed me in a way that nothing, bar the allotment, has for a very long while. I started investigating and tentatively signed up to do the teach.b course based on the fact I have been meditating for many years, though this has sometimes been patchy I am more committed since having kids. The exciting news is I have now been accepted onto the course that will allow me to teach mindfulness in schools and other institutions. It feels the right time to think about retraining, having another string to my bow to go alongside my community education work.

Today I had two hours on my showery plot. I had planned longer but I slept till 11am and then had a mindful breakfast followed by a mindful cup of tea which basically consists of not doing anything else while consuming and noticing that you are actually drinking tea. Multi tasking is the enemy of mindfulness, which is a shame because without multi tasking I am not quite sure how the kids will ever get to school on time again. I did my mindfulness practice and squeezed in some yoga so when I picked up a fork at 1 o’clock today I was seriously the most chilled out gardener who has ever dug that plot. Admittedly in this weather I was also the only gardener on the plot.

Planting rasied bed 1

Raised bed 1, weed free and being planted

I bark chipped my new path. I weeded raised bed 1 before finally planting the courgettes, tomatoes and cucumbers that my uncle gave me, alongside the few seedlings I have grown myself that have survived. It’s starting to look a little bit like some of the other plots nearby, less wild and untamed and more orderly and calm. A lot like my mind although how I fit in my practice, work and lesson planning tomorrow, around the grocery shop and entertaining the kids for a full-on half-term day is yet another of life’s interesting philosophical conundrums.

bark chip path raised beds n herb gdn

Starting to take shape and look less weedy!

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2 Responses to “A mindful gardener”

  1. Gill Ridgewell May 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Wow – your plot is certainly looking impressive now – I think you will get Grade 2 at least when Ofplot visit! Btw I saw Arthur, the aforementioned uncle, this morning and he told me is now following your blog! Finally I love the fact that in the ‘tags’ at the end of each post ‘mindfulness’ is now in the list alongside compost, tomatoes, weed killer etc! XX

    • wifi allotment May 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Cheers it does seem like we are making progress, although there are still a lot of weeds! I took the kids for a bit of half term plot mayhem and they were great. Glad Arthur is following, hope the plants he gave me survive!

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