Montag, Mai 12, 2008

Hard Work

Today, as most Sundays lately, I have spent in the garden. Digging, planting, weeding, cutting trees, building paths.
When I was young, just out of school, I was a professional landscape gardener for some time. It was my job, my daily routine, and I did it for a living. It was hard work, tiring and monotonous. Maybe that is why I did not enjoy working in the garden for so many years.

But now my mother's garden needed some attention. My mother is wonderfully fit for her age, and she still does a lot of work around the house and garden herself. But that garden is quite big, and during the last decade, weeds, shrubs and trees have taken over much of the spaces that once were a vegetable garden, flower beds and a lawn.

So, some weeks ago I started going there every weekend, and fighting a battle against nettles, ground elder and other weeds that formed a thick, green carpet in the former vegetable patch. Square meter for square meter, I dug it up, pulled at thick mats of nettle roots, carried buckets full of weeds to the compost heap, and planted strawberries, raspberries, and currants in the re-conquered ground.
Then I dug up another patch for potatoes. And in the sunniest part of the vegetable plot, I planted tomatoes and courgettes.

The plants are growing fast now. Of course, this summer there will only be a couple of handfuls of berries, and just enough vegetables for a few meals. But they will be mine - the result of my work, my own harvest. Ever since humans became farmers, they must have felt this same anticipation and satisfaction. And suddenly, I found out about this simple bliss. Just now, I want to forget about my efforts in scriptwriting and filmmaking, and be nothing else than a gardener.

Maybe the hundreds of generations of farmers in my DNA are stronger than just three generations of intellectuals.

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