Saturday, 10 September 2011
In the beginning
I've been wanting to write a blog since before blogs were invented....
I never dreamed it would take me more than 10 years to get around to it.
The main focus of my blog, which has brought me here, is my allotment; But it is the strings of life leading from my eden which have inspired me to come and write .
Tonight I celebrate my community. My neighbourhood. The connections of people which my allotment has inroduced me to.
For almost all my adult life, I have lived in these streets of a pleasant Northern town. But it is my alllotment which I feel has truly made me a thread in this web.
The retired gentleman cottage gardener, the pastor of a local happy-clappy church, the tax-inspector, the lecturer, the housewives, the couples, the young family, the community health worker, the builder, the scaffolder, the teacher, the shop worker and the train driver. We all have a little plot in the middle of a housing estate.
Over the hedge, we hear the sirens, the barking dogs, the distant lonely hoot of a train, the quarreling children, the pub-goers and the ice-cream van.
In our eden we hear bird-song, the tap, tap, tap of horticultral handiwork, the hiss of a hose-pipe, the murmuration of bees....
Last week, we watched the weather, watered our greenhouses and harvested fruit.
Yesterday, one of our number was killed in a crash.
And today, the housewife hugged the tax-collector, the train driver and the scaffolder arranged a collection, the shop worker and the health-worker sorted a rota to look after the plot and tears were shed for the family left behind and the memory of the deceased.
I realised that all these people, these strangers with whom I have exhanged pleasantries and surplus pears, small talk and sweetpeas are all neighbours. We live within a few houses, a few streets of each other, but never really noticed. We are a modest neighbourhood, where people nod in the street, but don't really socialise.
Today, more than ever, connections have been made and a seedling sense of community has been firmly rooted.
And for that I am grateful.