The Garden

In the northern hemisphere yesterday was officially the first day of spring.  In my part of the world to was also a bright and sunny day, if a little cold.  I took a stroll around my garden and started a few odd jobs.  A little leaf collecting, dead heading, cutting back.

Daffodils Daffodil Narcissus

I ought to tackle some jobs now, despite it being a bit cold.  Those little weeds lift out easily now and if left will spread and get deep rooted so even if they are removed they might regrow.  It is easier to get to things and see what help they might need before everything bursts into leaf. A little work now will save a lot of effort later and it’s always easier to look after something that is in good shape.  All those jobs that I had no time for in summer and then were too big in autumn would be much easier if tackled now.

I pottered in the sunshine and declared I needed a plan rather than taking a random approach.  And a second opinion would be useful – is that bamboo a useful screen? Or is it really too tall and heavy, stopping natural light? It’s amazing how some things that you have carefully cultivated become problems as they overshadow some of the smaller more delicate plants. You get used to them, hardly noticing their growth if you see them daily.  A fresh pair of eyes or at least someone to challenge you can help you see things in a new light.

My Grandad used to be a bit of a gardner and he always said that gardening taught you a lot about life.  I never really understood him.  As usual he was right.

Seems like a great time to work on more than just the garden.

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect 
So hard to earn, so easily burned 
The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect 
So hard to earn, so easily burned 
In the fullness of time 
A garden to nurture and protect

Rush – The Garden


Time for Action


I’ve been noticing a lot of  articles, blog posts and tweets recently about taking action.  Possibly there are more such posts doing the rounds at the moment.  I think it is more likely that I am simply noticing them more.  Just like when you choose a new car in an unusual colour and you start seeing them everywhere, I am seeing calls to action.

A coaching client this week left me very frustrated at his lack of action.  He knows what he wants and he knows he has to act and still he does nothing.  Session after session. Then I found myself feeling the same emotions with a friend and with my family.  Whenever I find myself feeling such a strong reaction on separate occasions I ask myself whether I am simply seeing a reflection of myself.  What we react most to in others is often what we consciously or unconsciously see as our own shortcomings.

It isn’t anything major but there are a number of things I have found reasons to delay.  I have great reasons to delay of course – other things to do, waiting for other things to be in place, needing more clarity, needing inspiration, seeing what happens with this other stuff.

I am three quarters of the way through one piece of work and really just have the tidying up to do.  I just have two documents to produce, I know what the end result has to look like and I don’t see it as being difficult.  I can even see the way to start.  What I am struggling with is the bits in the middle.  I want to know the detail of the entire piece before I start.  That seems to be quite common, not just for me but for everyone.  Before we start out we want not just a plan but a detailed plan of each and every step.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Last night I picked my daughter up after her dance class.  As usual it was late evening and this session was held in a small village out of town.  The route home was along quiet, unlit, twisting country roads.  With a cloudy sky it was very dark and the car headlights threw out a small cone of light into which we sped.

I knew where I was going but outside that small cone of light all was darkness.  At no time could I see more than a few hundred metres ahead and yet as expected we arrived home with no drama.  I didn’t insist on the entire route being clearly lit and made visible from my start point before driving off.

That would be stupid, right?

Not having a plan is planning to fail and not taking action is daydreaming.

It feels like this is the time for action.

Standing in the shadows,
Where the in-crowd meet
We’re all dressed up for the evening
We hate the punk elite (who are the punk elite?)
So take me to your leader
Because its time you realised…

That this is the time
This is the time for action (time for action)
This is the time to be seen (time to be seen)
This is the time for action
Time to be seen

Dave Cairns (Secret Affair)

P.S.  I’m not perfect – I wrote this instead of the piece I was really meant to write…