I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love having a little garden again.
It is nothing too special, just a patch of grass, a few shrubs, and some wooden decking at the back of the wee rented cottage we are spending our first months in. But what a joy it is, to have a piece of the earth that we can call ours.
DorkyDad and I are content to stand out on the deck every so often. There are sliding glass doors off the kitchen, and we step outside to admire the sunset, or the scudding clouds, or to feel the soft rain on our faces. Hobart is one of those cities where you can stand for ten minutes and watch an entire weather system passing through. I have seen more rainbows in the last three weeks than in the previous three years. The sky feels big and open, and the air feels pure and clean.
But DorkySon wants to do more than stand and watch. He is growing every day in an attempt to fill that new, exciting outdoor space.
In the absence of any dedicated garden toys, he is doing his best to improvise. I’m getting very used to cleaning stray clumps of grass and soil off the saucepans before cooking his dinner, knowing as I do that they’ve been deployed as obstacles for his long suffering Lego men to bounce over in the flower beds. Small household objects have been disappearing every day as DorkySon sneaks them outside to drop in a mixing bowl of water – all part of some ‘experiment’ to work out which materials float and which sink. And bath time has been taking much longer every night since we’ve had to start scrubbing the dirt out from under his nails.
It is hard to mind any of that. Even as I peg his jeans on the line to dry for the second, and third, and fourth time of the day, due to some over-enthusiastic watering can action, it is hard to feel anything but delighted by how well DorkySon is taking to the outdoors.
He chats away to the butterflies, the beetles and ants as though they are all old friends. Three weeks in and he already accepts the sun cream and the shades without any fuss. There has only been one incident of garden related tears so far, and that was my fault, for mis-throwing his beloved hacky sack over the fence into some unreachable part of a neighbour’s garden. He even found the upside to that within a few minutes, telling me that the two blackbirds who sit on our fence every morning would have a wonderful time playing catch with it.
Before we moved here, we promised DorkySon that we’d find a house with a garden big enough for a trampoline, because he has spent the last two years lusting after one.
If we find that house, and if he still wants the trampoline, he can have it. But I’m not so sure that he will. It’ll mean less space for cartwheels and toy car traffic jams, fewer mud-pies and runways and forts.
This is why we moved here. We wanted the space to stand, or breathe, or play. We wanted to look out of our window and see big skies again, and watch them change by the minute. We wanted our son to have grubby little fingers, and freckles on his nose, and not jump on a chair at the sight of a critter like his mother does. (That’s a whole other blog post…)
What a difference one little patch of garden can make.