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Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 | 1 comment

Gratitude and gardening: a saw point

sawmanleavesHe’s out there again.

Only this time, he’s holding a saw.

And I’m getting more anxious every time I look out of the window.

I don’t know what to do.

The thing is… I really wish my partner would stop doing the gardening.

You see, my idea of gardening is chucking a few flowers into plant pots and mowing the lawn once every spring.

Occasionally I’ll glance out of the window and see my beloved flowers hanging over the side of the pots, doing an impression of parched men crawling across a desert. Then I leap outside to water them. And then the ungrateful things die anyway.

The rest of the time I just call it a ‘wildlife garden’ and leave it to get on with growing by itself.

And that’s about it, really.

My partner takes a more, well, aggressive approach to gardening.

He seems to have the idea that, left to itself, the garden will develop into a jungle of vicious Triffids and invade the house. Only his intervention, armed with hefty clippers and a large saw, can save us from our fate. Lock and load!

And by the time he’s finished ‘cutting it back ready for the winter’, our cosy, overgrown garden has become a barren wasteland with small spiky remains sticking out of patches of earth.

It’s reached the point where every time he strides out of the back door, all the trees leap backwards, wrap their branches protectively around themselves, and scream, ‘Noooo! I’m innocent!’

Even the shed looks rather nervous.

And then he’ll come in, exhausted and flushed with pride, wanting me to admire the results of his labours.

It’s not really the garden I worry about. It seems to grow back every spring, so he can’t be doing too much wrong.

But I feel I should be grateful, and I’m not.

I hurt my knee a few months ago, and my partner is trying to be kind and caring and save me the effort and pain of sorting out the garden. I know that.

Only, it’s sometimes hard to feel grateful for other people’s efforts, when you didn’t want the job done in the first place. Or not that way, anyway.

So I’m going to try harder to feel grateful for the help people give me, instead of thinking crossly that I’d rather have done it myself because they didn’t get every tiny detail exactly the way I wanted.

I’ll appreciate the effort, rather than the results.

And I’ll remind myself that the reason they want to help is because they care about me – and I’m certainly grateful for that.

1 Comment

  1. This post did make me chuckle … and it reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Helping” (some kind of help is the kind of help we can all do without). I also find it very hard to be grateful when someone does a kind thing “to help” when it doesn’t, but Dodo, after reading your wise words I shall try to be (or at least act) more grateful in the future!

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