Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

A changing world

Spring arrived on Tuesday here in the southern hemisphere. I didn’t realise. I thought spring started on September 1st, likewise autumn in the northern hemisphere, but it turns out I was wrong. See?

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I’ve been wrong about a lot of things lately.

Wrong to think this concrete and brick yard wasn’t a garden, wrong to think vegetables would never grow here, wrong to give up before I’d even tried.

Well, that’s not strictly true. I did try last year, planting a random selection of melons, tomatoes and beetroot when I’d only been living here for a few short weeks and had no idea how the sun tracked across the sky. I hadn’t noticed how it hid behind buildings only to re-appear later to illuminate what I thought was a pocket of shade, and I was far too impatient to notice where the shadows crept and lengthened, where the sunlight shone most brightly, where it lingered for the longest time.

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Almost a year later I’ve accumulated a little wisdom, and more than a little patience; I’ve been forced to accept the limitations of this back yard, and work within them.

Funny that this should be the week I notice green shoots everywhere, and silly me for bemoaning the lack of growth on this very blog a couple of weeks ago. ‘It’s spring but you’d never know it here in Sydney,’ I moaned.

Oh me of little faith. It wasn’t spring. And I was wrong to give up hope.

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Snow peas have confirmed they can flourish down the skinny side of the house, where sunlight penetrates between tall buildings for long enough to encourage the peas to clamber towards the light. Planting a tomato may be over optimistic but the neglected plant, bought cheaply along with a broken planter box, seems to be recovering.

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I’d dismissed that side passageway as unworkable, a place for weeds and scrambling bell vine that I’d ignore for months then have to hack my way through. Now I’m down there most days, tending to the espaliered fig (we’d never get past if it was allowed to grow unchecked), watering seedlings and examining the cucumber that will hopefully follow the peas in search of light.

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Newspaper reports in recent days sound alarmist, blowing the trumpets of war and detailing atrocities committed in the name of religion. We live in a world that suddenly seems dark and gloomy, dire warnings and bleak images transmitted daily into our living rooms.

It tells me to count my blessings, to help those in need and to focus on love, not hate.

I hope I’m not wrong in searching for the light.

12 comments on “A changing world

  1. bkpyett
    September 26, 2014

    Not wrong at all Deb, we light seekers must inspire others to do the same!
    I love the story of your garden. No garden is perfect and yet they are all filled with perfections and miracles! I do hope your snow peas prosper. I have replanted beans that the snails have devoured. There’s always something to keep an eye on!

    Like

  2. debhuntinbrokenhill
    September 26, 2014

    Do you have chickens? They love eating snails!

    Like

  3. nantubre
    September 26, 2014

    One can never be wrong in seeking the light. Your insightful analogy ‘re: the garden is a breath of fresh air. Beautiful.

    Like

  4. pbmgarden
    September 26, 2014

    Happy Spring Deb. It’s nice to watch the cycle of nature.

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      September 26, 2014

      Thank you. And I hope you enjoy Autumn. It must be a treat from your meditation circle!

      Like

  5. redhairedgal
    September 26, 2014

    Thank you for this. You have a marvelous way of putting things into perspective and it’s just what I needed this morning. Our search for a house has been a miserable failure, the news reports make me want to cry and living in this tiny apartment is testing my patience. But reading this is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

    Like

  6. debhuntinbrokenhill
    September 26, 2014

    Like you I’ve been terribly upset by news reports recently but we must keep spreading light, within ourselves and others, to combat all this horror. Hang on in there, you will find what you are looking for one day.

    Like

  7. helen meikle's scribblefest
    September 27, 2014

    If we don’t keep spreading the light, futile though it might seem, sometimes, there won’t be any.

    Like

  8. monsoonwendy
    September 27, 2014

    I have a dear friend who lives by the premise to “Find beauty, make beauty and share beauty”. You do this so well and your garden is a place of growing beauty. My friend also says “accessorise well” which is important!

    Like

  9. debhuntinbrokenhill
    September 29, 2014

    Aha yes, I often fall down on the accessorising! x

    Like

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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