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As the sunshine-&-showers summer passes and the stresses of working life and a pervasive general anxiety about the wider political situation increases, I’m finding that I’m once again turning to tending. To watering and seed planting. A bit of gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get fresh strawberries.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

With just two square metres of north-facing balcony to tend, my gardening is inevitably constrained, but the healing capacity of this postage stamp of unofficial countryside is nonetheless powerful.

The garden is the poor man’s apothecary. ~German Proverb

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. Plunging urban fingers into the compost of a half dozen pots feels beneficial. After work each evening, the ritual of watering is calming. It creates time. I spot the detail changes. And marvel at the dance of life and death played out on so small a stage as this balcony.

The act of watering and looking takes me away from anxiety and momentarily reconnects me with the land.

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Mahatma Gandhi

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