Today, it’s drizzling with a cold North-West wind. The rain is pelting down, so I’m sitting with the fire, a cat sprawled on his back and a sleepy pup. Although it’s May, I’m content to be by the fire while the rain transforms our brown and barren landscape. We should really celebrate those rains after a long winter, without them we wouldn’t have the greening and growth of our landscape, our earth. If only consecutive grey days didn’t have a tendency to be melancholic. Occasionally, the sun has been gracing us with his presence and it is glorious, praise be. This week has looked a lot more like this…
But with the occasional beautiful sunset… this often seems to be the way. Without melancholia, we wouldn’t know joy and happiness.
These days, I have been occupied very happily by the garden, running after a long winter in the forest, plants, my mandolin, books and a lot of food preparations. I mean, a lot of food prep! A huge portion of my day has gone to just making bread, and baked goods, dinners. Food has been a massive comfort during this time and I find that really simple things like a peasant loaf or oat cakes can just make a huge difference on a grey overcast day when we have the media bellowing that the world is ending.
There is this massive divide between when I’m online and offline. When I’m online, my anxiety increases, I genuinely feel confused about well…. everything. My mind feels like it’s been just tossed and fried and I can’t think for myself. Until… I step outside, look at the plants growing, sort through my seeds, walk the dog without my phone, watch the birds, feel the elusive sun on my skin, listen to the chimes, read my books. Suddenly.. there is a quiet clarity. Suddenly, I hear my own voice clearly and succinctly. The anxiety is gone and I feel content and one with my environment. This is how I think things are meant to be. So, today, I wanted to come on here and just share with you what that has looked like for me this past month. The garden, the books, the growth. The growth of not only my seeds that I sowed a month ago but also my mental state when I go offline. When I follow my heart… I hope this might inspire you to do the same or to just connect with others that have an inkling of this same feeling. I know I can’t be the only one that feels this way!
So.. my wrists are beginning to be accustomed to playing the mandolin instead of knitting (I apologize, knitting has definitely been on hold! I will however make a post soon about all the knitting I’ve finished for the shop once I actually finally finish one of these sweaters!), my fingernails often have dirt under them from plants. I am really grateful for everything right now, that Jamie is still working and that I have this acre plot to reflect with the jays and chickadees. However, I do find it hard living on a now cut off island with no family to speak of living close by. As soon as the travel restrictions were put into place between provinces, I felt kind of helpless and sad. But, I’m determined to make the most of our situation here. It’s a beautiful place and a summer without tourists.. is going to be interesting to say the least!
Gardening, plants, nature, my love!
We live on a 1.25 acre lot. It has pine, oak, maple, birch, spruce, wild cherry, apple and ash. There is a clearing where we have tilled (thanks to our neighbours for letting us borrow their tiller !) a pretty large path of land for our garden. This year, I have big plans for it has never really felt as pressing and important. Yesterday, I repotted 60 of my tomato seedlings: Beefsteak, Black krim, Scotia, Cherry (a couple of varieties from the top of my head). 60 might sound excessive, but we eat a lot of tomatoes (homemade pizza is probably our favourite meal) – I mean A LOT! I can stew and can all of these and it might last us until the next growing season. I absolutely LOVE preserving foods and using vegetables and herbs that just came from a seed in a windowsill in April :).
I also have lots of herbs growing like basil (for basil pestos – growing both tulsi and genovese), rosemary, parsley (a huge one, we eat a lot of parsley in the summers), summer savory. We have about 8 pepper plants from seed, chamomile, strawflower, lavender, among others!
So for 2020 our Garden Plans :
(Each row also has herbs and flowers interspersed between the vegetables)
1 : Pole Beans & Cucumbers
4: Carrots & radish
5: Onions & Beets
8: (Off to the side and separated by the Pea Trellis : Pumpkin & Squash
Surrounding : Sunflowers, Cosmos, Calendula, flowers of all types etc.
We also have a couple of raised beds which have greens, rhubarb, herbs and flowers.
Anyway, I hope to share with you the coming months of gardening! Things really begin to explode here in August. According to the older folklore, you should wait to plant your garden until after the full moon in June (due to frost). I do plan to plant our peas and carrots once the soil isn’t so sopping wet. So many plants are so hardy and the trees really protect our acre from the frosts that hit in late May/ Early June.
Connecting to the natural world is healthful for our mind, bodies and spirits. Creating a garden is a celebration and exploration in this unity. I know it’s not possible for everyone to have a garden, space is definitely limited and of course in cities and apartment living, it’s not as easily an option. But even having just a house plant and then getting out to the park can instill this very same relationship! If you live in a basement apartment and have little light, some plants don’t actually need a lot of light like a spider plant or an English ivy. When I lived in Toronto, I loved walking High Park and the allotment garden in the center of that beautiful park are a dream.
And so, I’ll leave you with just a couple of photos. My hope is to be able to soon share with you playing music. It might be A LOOOONNNG time coming and it might still be. My mandolin skills are… well they are basic. But, it comes kinda naturally and I can’t help but think that the way of the future is moving away from physical things and possessions. Music and nature, friends and food <3 this is a beautiful future I can envision.
Well my friends, I’m off because it’s time to make food and I want to get outside in the rain, the wind. It’s one way to feel alive, alive alive <3
A mandolin rockin tune for you (this song is so good… and it’s just something about that mandolin and Steve Earle :P) :
And because I love the traditional Irish (This is a good one, trust me :D) :