I walk quickly. In the hours and days and weeks since I last spend time writing on these pages, much is achieved. The pace is fast. The garden project that began at the foot of my garden in the autumn is all consuming. There is little time for walking the woods around my home, for walking anywhere. The Bothy is transported from the basement of the city university where it has been stored. Supplies are purchased and delivered. Interest is high. Momentum is maintained. The garden project is well underway.
Over the course of one never-to-be-forgotten weekend, the supplies that have been bought are used to build a solid foundation. Garden beds are defined. Seeds are chosen. Seeds are sown and watched over, carefully.
Over the course of one more never-to-be-forgotten weekend, The Bothy takes shape. My city helpers return to help. Walls are constructed. A roof is created. Windows are installed. A coat of paint is applied.
Inside, a desk is placed. I imagine a space to think, to reflect, to write when there is again time to step back from the creation of this garden that is at present all consuming.
The season progresses. The sun appears, the earth warms. I plant out my seeds. I dig in mushroom compost. I am rewarded with light and growth and colour.
And finally, I take that step back. I look around me at all that has been created in these few short months of spring. There has been hard work, little time for the walking in the woods around my home that was my practice before this Bothy came into my life, but the rewards are manifold and unfolding, each and every day that I spend walking this space that has been created in these few short months.
I plant poppies. My favourite; to grow, to flower, to photograph. And as the first of my grown poppies flower, I begin to relax. Into this space. Into this garden.
I begin to appreciate the gift I have been given. The responsibility that is mine. Of stewardship. Of holding creative space. Of holding emotional space. For those that choose to make the journey, this must be a place of refuge, of sanctuary and I take up the challenge of holding that space for those that choose to make the journey.
Much has been achieved. Much needs to be achieved. But I pause and reflect, with gratitude, on what has been created. On the transformation that has taken place. Within the garden, a pocket of wilderness has made way for a semblance of shape, structure and form. And colour, the beginnings of much colour fills me with anticipation and delight. Within me, the transformation is equally profound. Learning about the effects of compost and seeds and light and warmth, I learn about myself. I discover a new appreciation of words and there begins the unveiling of a deeper creative interest in their patterns and textures and meanings that is most welcome.
It is early days for The Bowden Bothy – as she is now named – and I. But our journey has indeed begun and we are excited, nervous, grateful and yes, impatient to see how it unfolds. But Nature will not be rushed. She of all people holds her own counsel and as a master of time, teaches us more than anyone about the sweet perfection of allowing the bud, the blossom, to bloom at just that perfect time. I add this to the list of that which The Bothy is here to teach me. This list grows daily for I am far from perfect and there is much to learn. But I am learning and progress is being made. Will continue to be made, as The Bothy and I learn from each other and grow into this space together.