It’s a cold morning and the rejection comes in on my phone – I had a feeling this was the answer.
I’m at the back of a friend’s house, sitting on their back porch waiting for help; I’ve put too many pellets in the chicken feeder and the thing has fallen apart. My hands are covered in chicken shit and I cannot work out how to put the few pieces together – the green bit, the white bit, a wing nut, a screw and a spring. It’s the last day of looking after these chickens, the last day of the long weekend that was in no way relaxing but a hell of a lot of fun. Especially the chickens. Oh, and the little boy who looked at my elephant ears plant and said “Wow, you are really good at growing plants.” ( I’m not, but I’ll take that complement little guy! )
I’ve spilt pellets everywhere and I am truly questioning if I should be commiting myself to chicken care and then I look up at the chooks and the sparrows fluttering about and help comes and my doubt is distracted.
It’s so bloody easy to fix, I should feel embarressed, but I don’t. He’s better at this stuff than I, and that’s OK. I say I didn’t get in ( to the prize ) and he hugs me and says that he is sorry and I shrug and say that I’ll do better next time. If I were to say I am upset, it would be a lie, this time. Sure, it’d be nice to be in it and I so want to be in these things. But I also think that it isn’t my time just yet. Just yet. But soon. Like, really soon.
I cast it out of my mind and clean what I can. Feel proud that I got the chickens through the weekend and even managed some yummy food scraps for them. I’ve been reading about types of chickens and plants and growing things and feel I am past most of that crippling doubt that usually sends me to bed when I am starting something new. I am so not good at new things, but you know I just got to get better at it – we are forever learning.
Sometimes I look back on my earlier days and feel sad I didn’t allow myself to get into gardening earlier in my life. I used renting as an excuse – but I could’ve joined a community garden. I know that they were a huge thing in Berlin. I think I just didn’t want things to get in the way of my sads. Because that is what gardening has done for me – taken me out of me. There is something about putting your hands into the earth and caring for tiny seeds, sprouts, harvesting, digging and turning and starting it all over again. Accidently killing things and learning from that. Seeing what actually is a hardy plant, what can take on full sun, transplanting other plants when the small parsely bunch grew into a big bush ( har har ) and I can’t eat enough of the stuff to keep it under control!
Part of me hates winter a lot, but now that I am growing things it’s really given me the chance to learn more and plan more for what I want to do for the garden. I mean, cold is still not my favourite thing but hell I’d rather be contrucitve with my time than complain all the time. I hope I get better at this, and can grow my own vegetables and fruits – or at least more than I do now. It’s humbling, it’s yummier, it’s a little good I can do for the world and teach my little one as I go. Hopefully set her up with skills to learn how to feed herself!