Filed under: disability, Gardening, Scotland, Travel | Tags: Arnica, baths, gardening, time
I know Werner said, “All you get to do today is what you get to do today. ” unfortunately sometimes all you get to do is more than your body thinks you should, and so I am soaking in an Arnica oil bath. When I called, what I believed to be a temporary halt to the day’s activities, I needed a rest, with my feet up, in my recliner. I found my wife sitting in it, that it is my spot moves her not at all. And so I lay on my bed, too tired even to drink my tea.
It has not been a bad day. Unfortunately there is so much to do in the garden, I am just playing catch up, I’m nowhere near implementing any of my plans for the future. I did some weeding, a lot of weeding, why does it never make a difference, is the Creeping Buttercup really out to get me? I managed, at last, to cut my grass. Heaped black spotted rose leaves into the incinerator, sadly I have not, as yet, been able to light it, but not for want of trying. I prefer to garden when my grandchildren are not in earshot, my language can be a little expressive. I even got a bit of planting done.
Indoors i took advantage of a working Internet connection, not something I see every day, to put some apps onto the Nexus 7 my mother and sisters in law, bought me for my birthday. When I say that they bought it, I mean they gave me the money; mention of the Nexus seemed to mean little to them. I love my new Nexus, I have the world’s best family, bar none. I have started loading films onto it, I love the screen. When I went on to the Play Store, unasked, it loaded three books onto my Nexus;Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers and Alice in Wonderland, how did Google know they are three of my very favourite books, should I be paranoid?
I even managed to get to the garden centre, Neelam had a coupon to use in Dobbies by today. She is a member of their gardening club, which amuses me as I don’t think I’ve ever seen her lift a spade. I suppose she is a gardener in the grand tradition, the grand tradition of ladies with gardeners. It’s a pity we don’t keep pheasants, I could change my name to Mellors. By the time we got home I needed to rest and slept through tea time. I awoke conscious of the complaints of my joints and muscles, hence the Arnica bath. When we were away in Aberfeldy, our bath was so long and deep total immersion was possible, but in this standard tub i am compelled to choose which bits to immerse at any one time. I need a bigger bath!
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability, Gardening | Tags: autism, depression, gardening, industrialisation, Kingswood College, mental illness, RHS, Royal Horticultural Society
Today, between showers, I was doing some dead heading. I removed the seed pods from my lilies so they may save their strength for next year. I removed the spent heads from my roses, they have given a great display this summer, but there are now few buds left waiting to flower.
As I pottered about my garden a gentle rain began to fall, but I did not rush for cover. For a while I just wandered about enjoying the scents and quietness, I felt no urgency and neither did my cat as he was content to continue chewing grass. I feel at peace in my garden, indeed in most gardens. There is something very soothing in the atmosphere in the garden. It came as no surprise to me to read in “Amateur Gardening” that studies by Hozelock and by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have found that patients with depression suffered “significantly reduced” anxiety after gardening. I took a glance at the Social-Care Online website, as one does, and found there several studies supporting the benefits of gardening for people with mental health issues. I also, when doing a quick literature search on gardening and autism, found the Royal Horticultural Society promoting gardening in Special Needs Education and downloaded the PDF of the Kingswood College report “Green Spaces” which looked at the benefit of gardens for people with autism. It is clear that gardens are good for us.
I wonder whether a factor in the rise of cases of autism as well as the rise in certain psychiatric conditions may not be down to our increasing dissociation from the natural world. When I was a child the number of children displaying the symptoms of autism was very much smaller than today, however the frequency of outdoor play was very much higher. Throughout history there have always been instances of mental illness, but their rise to near epidemic proportions seems to have coincided with our migration from the soil into the mills, factories and offices of the towns and cities. What if the only thing wrong with us is the way we live? Perhaps we all need to get back to the land.
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, Gardening | Tags: depression, gardening, summer., sunshine
“We’re getting our vitamin D today!” , said my wife as we sat in the sun, first to eat our lunch, and then to do some work on a course she is designing. I know that even a wee bit of sun makes me feel both healthier and happier, give me two consecutive days of sunshine and I’m as high as a kite. After two depressing (literally) summers, I am hopeful of being able to enjoy this one without having to take refuge in the Mediterranean to preserve my sanity as I did last year.
Of course it is not the sunshine alone that boosts my spirits, but being able to catch up on the many outdoor tasks still waiting, some for well over a year. The inability to impose some sort of order on my garden depresses me, over a couple of years this has the cumulative effect of rendering life joyless and grey. The sense of accomplishment gained from a good session of weeding, or cutting my jungle of a lawn restores purpose and order to life. I have a need to impose order on my environment and take it very ill when that desire is frustrated. It is true, that the need could be satisfied differently, but why should it have to be? I am very much more relaxed in the sunshine and yet I get so much more done than in winter; I tend to do more than I realise because it is so effortless and then I pay for it later.
I love the length of the summer day, it is now late afternoon at 22:00, by 05:00 the Sun will have risen and the birds will be singing. I suppose the extra hours mean that, while I am getting more done, I have much more time in which to do it. It may be that if one were to divide the hours of daylight by energy expended, it would be seen that I really am working at a more leisurely pace, but for considerably longer. I know this, pacing myself gently in the summer Sun gives my day a sense of both accomplishment and of being on holiday. I do love summer.
And so the urgency of time
Pushes me up to my limit,
Thus am I, facing my deadline,
Do I have the means to win it?
I have had a very good day,
Today has been full of sunshine,
Gardening, rather than what to say
Today, filled every thought of mine.
In sunshine, weeding and sowing
In my garden, my delighting
In simple pleasures like mowing
Today, banished thoughts of writing.
My blog is something I must do
Because I have said that I will;
I’ve left it rather late it’s true,
And that’s why I am writing still.
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, Gardening, Justice, Scotland, success | Tags: emotions, gardening, weather, weeding
Thursday morning ,with my daisy grubber, I was weeding, in the rain. I was thinking that our weather, too often, keeps me out of the garden. The weeds are romping away with a vengeance, they are growing faster than I am eradicating them. And as I contemplated my misfortunes it dawned on me that the rain doesn’t care. As I spread Round Up Gel on the Horsetail it occurred to me, it’s just doing what it’s always done since the days of the dinosaurs, growing and thriving. There’s no point in my being angry with the Horsetail for doing what it’s always done, besides the Horsetail doesn’t care. The Horsetail doesn’t care, neither do the Creeping Buttercups, the Docks, the Hairy Bittercress nor the Dandelion.
I have found over the years so many reasons to be angry with the world. However inanimate objects do not care, the insentient do not feel. People feel, people care, too often over things that do not matter, illogically, but they feel. I cannot treat people as things, as objects, however they my occur, because they feel.
I will continue to try to understand how people work. The weeds will continue to grow and the rain will continue to fall. I shall do whatever I shall do, but the rain will never care.
Filed under: Gardening, Scotland, Writing | Tags: Dock Weed, gardening, NaPoWriMo, weeds
One must respect the Dock
Weed, with it’s long tap root
And its fierce resistance
To my every effort
To remove and uproot
It, but it will perchance
Eventually give up.
Subject to a flame lance
Or, as one might have thought,
To weedkiller that I shot
Last year, but now I ought
To accept there is a chance
It’s tougher than I thought,
And, despite my onslaught,
Will persist, and in short,
Lead me a merry dance.