Things haven’t been off to a great start. 2019 ended promising with the early discovery and treatment of the Tomato Potato Psyllid. Last year, due to the holidays I found it too late and I fought a brave and brutal battle, but one by one my tomato plants succumbed to its enemy and I was left without a tomato harvest as they had barely found their fruiting feet, let alone ripen an abundant harvest. Fortunately, the zucchini was in abundance and I found that replacing them for tomatoes in my favourite tomato relish recipe worked brilliantly and I had that delish taste of summer all winter. Sometimes plan B can be more than ok. This year my hopes are high for my tomatoes.
It was with a grateful heart that I relaxed into new year celebrations and even set myself a few resolutions. The last quarter of 2019 was hard in so many ways. Not only did we have terrible weather, and my Dad died and the Dr with no bedside manner told me I had skin cancer, which turned out not to be a thing at all and has been treated and is gone! Yay. I need to remember to slip (long sleeved flowy shirt – must go to the op shop), slop (sunscreen – plenty and often – even on cloudy days) slap (know where my wide brimmed hat is at all times and use it!) to avoid a repeat of that scare!
But I also discovered – thanks to my MS and its regular MRI monitoring that my MS was stable but there was a lump in my brain. I was told it wasn’t serious and not to worry… but with no real info and Dr Google between being told and actually seeing a brain surgeon 3 months later…. I worried up a storm! I just wanted it gone. Apparently, it is so not a thing and so we will live with it for at least a decade, which is when they reckon it will be big enough to get rid of with risky surgery. I am now trying to undo the worry and forget I ever knew that it was there.
It makes sense then that my new years resolutions would be a focus of health and wellbeing with a bit of mindfulness thrown in for good measure. I spent so long worrying about my health, that I feel like I have been given a fresh start to be intentional about what and when I eat and establish good routines so I am approaching my work and my life from a proactive rather than reactive direction. I envisaged a sense of calm and slow gentleness where life falls into place perfectly and the garden will flourish under this new approach.
So here we are on day 5. We are only 5 days in, and I am as far from healthy, calm and mindful! On the 1st we went on a lovely long walk along the beach and I thought “I’m doing it – I’m taking care of me.” But when we got back, I felt unwell and headed off to bed and I have been plagued with a summer cold that has robbed me of my voice and left me weak and headachy. So much for health and wellness.
Just to twist the knife into my plans for a better future, storm number 7 rolled through. I saw it was coming but felt too sick to prepare the garden for its arrival with my intended proactive new self. And so, it roared through the garden and took out the corn. I’m gutted. It was just beginning to drop the pollen from the tassels. I think I may have pollinated the neighbour’s corn! The stalks are broken and shredded. But there is still time to grow more and so I will drag myself to the garden centre to pick up as many seedlings as they have. I have also acquired some wind break fabric and have finally admitted to myself that it needs to be a permanent feature not a temporary one I can put up when the wind comes – as sometimes the wind comes when you aren’t ready for it. Ok – I may not be able to see the ocean from the garden, but nine times out of ten I don’t look at it anyway, I’m too busy tending my plants. It was a delusional idea I had to preserve the view and in hindsight I should have fought harder for my plants.
So, before the first week is even out, I understand what needs to happen this year. I have two choices – I can look at the adversity life throws at me from all direction and I can choose to become defeated, give up and complain bitterly, or I can choose to pick myself up by the boot straps, look for a solution – and a back up solution and possibly even a spare one, just in case, and get on with it, all the while looking for blessings.
I am determined to be an overcomer this year. Life will not grind me down – no matter how hard it tries. I think last season with its more than ideal weather lulled me into a false sense of security, but the reality is more likely to be like this season. So, I doubt very strongly it will be a year of posts of lovely luscious plants and bountiful harvests from a perfect garden, but full of trial and error, failures and successes and a whole lot in between. I will not give up; I have come too far for that.
Come again soon – windbreak is going up… TODAY! Sore throat or not.
Sarah the Gardener : o)