I usually find the garden very uplifting and inspirational at this time of year – all the energy and promise of spring. But this year… it’s different. I haven’t been able to do any gardening for about six months because of a wee problem with my elbow.

Yesterday I found myself looking out of the window and almost not recognising the garden (the garden that we’ve been working on for 16 years). I had a sense of detachment. I wasn’t excited by it; couldn’t think what we were planning to do this year; had no sense of vision for it.

I was thinking about this in church today – and I realised that (in this case) the opposite of detached isn’t attached, but engaged. I haven’t fallen out of love with the garden – I just need to get acquainted with it (when my elbow has fully recovered). It’s been too long since I got my hands dirty or even just pottered about a bit.

So – as is my wont – I started a wee doodlegram (see below). It seems to me that if we start to drift away from something it’s fairly easy to re-engage with a wee bit of nurturing. But if we get to the stage of being detached, a more difficult and lengthy recovery process is needed. I’m not sure if there is a way back when we get beyond detachment to alienation.

There may also be other staging posts along the route from engaged to detached, but I was happy enough with the analogy as it stands (working on the ‘less is more’ basis OR I need to keep things simple enough for my brain to cope with).


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