As I look out into my garden I see a lot of green, a lot of growth. Buds poking through the loam, next year’s plants making an early bid for freedom. What is that? Norman renewal, evidence (again) of climate change? Today, it’s the shortest day here in the UK and everything should be shut down, darkest before dawn and all that. The earth should be frost-solid, the greens limited to the muscular evergreens, not sprigs of daffodils and blooming fushias, goodness not even snowdrops poking through.
The lawn needs a mow and pond skaters play chicken with the birds who’ve given up on all the hassle of migration and settled in for an unlikely early spring break. We’ll probably hear that the temperature is going to be the highest or something.
Part of me smiles at all this unlikely activity, I love seeing my garden grow, but I know there has to be a price. Circadian rhythms demand we renew at night. Nature does the same over winter, allowing time off from fecundity and fertility. Without a pause, there will be consequences. Not this year perhaps, or next. But diseases will not be killed off, stocking up strength will not happen.
I put my glasses in the fridge a couple of days ago. I could try and explain the tortured logic that led to that episode but I doubt you’ve the time. Maybe it’s just a senior moment, or maybe it’s another example of my over heated brain. There’s a lot of stuff flying around with new variant covid, Christmas plans thrown in the air, waiting to see how the pieces land, the inevitable disaster that will be Brexit and that’s before all the family stuff, the aged in-law stuff, the… oh you know, you all have similar. I need time to defrag my brain and create space for more thoughts and memories, much like my overfull laptop. In the run up to Christmas (the operative word being ‘run’, though maybe ‘sprint’ up or ‘bolt’ up would be more accurate) there’s no time for anything like some considered thought.
This is called the holiday season, but even without shops and entertainment, all one hears about is rush and worry and stress and more rush. Some holiday.
We cram. It starts with our children, what with endless play dates and one o’clock clubs and TV and apps and whathaveyous where our little treasures are given sensory overloads and constant unremitting stimulation. And it doesn’t stop. It never stops. We are all at it. Even the bloody garden. Constant activity.
What the world needs is a bit of peace. Yes world peace in the sense of an absence of conflict would be grand, but something more humdrum in the sense of an absence of activity, noise and clamour would also be good.
Resolve for growth and renewal on the first of January if you must, but at the end of this most extraordinary of years, all I wish for you and me is maybe a bit of boredom, some quiet, and, yes some peace.
As ever Dog’s got it sussed.
Whatever you think of as a good Christmas, I hope you manage it this year.