Last carrot turned up as I finished digging a vegetable bed yesterday. Top half is already eaten, but there is enough left to flavour a stew. Am glad of it; normally I would not bother bending down to pick it up as my back aches enough already. But times are not normal. And backache from digging is not suffering.
Ive been cultivating my garden for 30 years with a lovely old fork that belonged to my father-in-law (he died in the 1960s). When I started, the garden was full of twitch(couch-grass), a tangled network of roots enough to fill a wheelbarrow in every square yard, it had to be removed as it will grow straight though a carrot and chokes everything. All that remains now is creeping grass that grows on the surface – much easier to deal with.
Once I could dig all afternoon, now I dig for 20 minutes, then have to sit in the greenhouse for 20 minutes to recover. I also meditate for 20 minutes each day too. Im very fortunate indeed to have backache from digging my garden, so many people could do with a garden at the moment. Gardener’s backache is not REAL suffering….as the world’s leading Christian Meditator, Laurence Freeman OSB explains in his Lenten message today;
‘Suffering, and we are all experiencing it in this crisis, should be avoided or reduced, if we can. But if we can’t, let’s learn from it. Let’s hope that after this passes and we begin the recovery, we will have a better understanding of what ‘normal’ really means. Normal use of time, normal weather, normal relationships. How we use this time can help us find the centredness and balance that the Cross also symbolises. Then we will be less prone to blame and more ready to act well. Just by being who we are (like Jesus did) we will be agents of change for the normal that is real.’
– unlike digging, meditation gets easier as time passes http://WCCM.org