Weeding like a viking or for a king?

irisMy favorite way of weeding is to dig everything up, sifting the soil and replanting the plants I want. I call it the viking way. No dithering, no delicate fingers carefully picking tender unwanted shoots.

My favorite way of cleaning a room is to take as much as possible our of it, scrubbing every nook and cranny, and sort thoroughly through what comes back in side.

My favorite way of improving myself is grand plans, I will never… I will always….from now on. As a kid I ate no sugar for a year, just to prove I could, you get the picture?

peonknoppThen I heard the King’s gardener giving advice on how he weeded the king’s gardens. His main rule was, green things need light to grow. Or: if weeds do not get light, they will not grow. The second rule was, focus on what your favorites need to grow, and give them that. That could be to remove weeds, it could be to mulch, to support or to cut down, to divide and to renew.

If you look for weeds to weed, weeds is what you see. You could stay in your garden the whole day and see nothing but weeds.

Perhaps that is true for life too? Do we look at what is wrong? Do we concentrate on what should be changed or on what we have power to strengthen and let grow? Could my life’s garden be more enjoyable if I just cut away the weeds above ground, and start looking for flowers and fruit, even while I weed?

kobberkjelI tried that when cleaning at the cabin this weekend. Instead of grumbling about to few cupboards, muttering about plans for an annex or another room, I looked around for the things I really liked. Then I made them shine and look their best. The old copper coffee pot, the huge copper pan that we use for firewood, all the candlesticks. For an hour I polished cherished memories incorporated in lovely things, at night I could se the flames from the fireside reflected all over our lovely, perfectly clean, just big enough, little cabin.

Our vacation will soon be over, I am tempted to make rigorous plans for all the things I am to achieve this term. Until now my normal approach would be to do all chores on my list, try to make everyone happy, and then hope for some time for my own projects. Weeding away every disturbance, before I enjoy the flowers.

My new plan is to be so absorbed by the blooms that I neither see the weeds or hear the complains.

From now on, I will be weeding as for a king!

blomsterknopp

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Where the roses grow and carrots thrive

Another rose , another time

Another rose , another time

Time is relative, and childhood is the proof. The fact is that I did not spend many summers at my maternal grandparents home, a couple yes, but not all summer, and absolutely not every summer. The truth though, in my heart, is that the greatest part of my childhood was an eternally long, sunny summer spent with my aunts and my grandparents. My parents obviously was somewhere on the scene too, must have been, then again in my memory they were just part of the set up.

Summer at Christmas, with my grandmothers plates

Summer at Christmas, with my grandmothers plates

Then there was Christmas and sledding and skiing of course, but that must be occupying another part of my brain. At least this two parts of my growing up do not share the same olfactory memories. Today, I need only the smell of scraping carrots to take me back to my grandfathers garden. I was allowed to pull the freshest tiniest roots out of the earth, rinsing them under the garden tap and enjoy them at once.

Another happy garden

Another happy garden

That is how summer tastes! And then the afternoons, there was coffee and kringle in the garden. I am sure my aunt would tell me how it was raining and how the Flammentanz did not bloom through the whole year, I know. To me, I need only the smell of a rising dough on my kitchen counter to take me back to the expectation of sitting on the white wooden bench, between some grown ups, listening to their talk and laughter, smelling and enjoying the overhanging roses and biting into the sweet icing on the still warm cinnamon kringle.

In my own garden

In my own garden

It was never so much about doing, as about being. That is what I aim for in making a home for my own family too, not only giving them memories of the things we do, but creating a treasure of homely smells, colors and sounds. Being aware of that what is only a fleeting moment for us adults may be what defines the whole childhood for our children. That will not happen if it does not ring true, no child is fooled by fake happiness. That will not happen if what I aim to do is setting a scene for something rather than making the trivialities of life itself pleasant. Perhaps that is why my memories linger and fills up an inappropriate big place in my heart, these summers were never activities to while away time, it was life itself, being allowed to take part, being useful, being in the middle of it, to belong.

Roses in old pitcher

Roses in old pitcher