London, United Kingdom
Today we made a return visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market to gather up plants for the garden in preparation for the fast approaching winter. Although chillier than our last trip, it was just as busy and delightful to be amongst the flowers. Vic settled on a lovely selection of pansies, primroses, decorative cabbage and tulip bulbs.
Once the car was loaded and looking like a mobile flower bed, we wandered up to the Brick Lane markets and more specifically back to my favourite bagel shop. Vic and Pete got salt beef bagels and I got an egg one plus a dozen plain to takeaway. We came out just in time to see a crazy lady plough straight through the markets in her car because technically, they should have finished for the day. She didn’t seem concerned that in reality, they were still in full swing with people and products everywhere. Luckily no one was hurt but there may well have been some squished second hand stuff!
Back home, the day was fading fast but Vic was determined to get these plants in the ground and invited me to join her. I’ve never really had much of an interest in gardening, it’s always something other people have done so the idea of getting involved was quite novel. Vic was very generous in involving me in the design decisions and even let me create my own bed with all the best plants. I have my suspicions that she knew the therapeutic nature of the task and how much I needed at some metaphorical level to get my hands in the dirt and start laying down some new roots. And it felt so good.
As I was digging and planting away, I was put in mind of the following quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Today I breathed easier because Vic and Pete have lived. Again, thank you.