I never know what to do in the garden at this time of year. Finding a place to begin can be overwhelming. It is akin to wanting to write a short story and being stuck on the first sentence and so I usually go outside, pace around a little bit, spy a big black purple cloud looming on the horizon and retreat indoors and ponder from behind the glass over what my next move might be. This place challenges on a daily basis.
Today, as it happens, I had a little bit of an opening to progress in my garden pursuits. The weather was mild, for a change, the wind practically non-existent, the sun slightly warm. I put on my apron. It is yellow cotton with sprigs of flowers. The best thing about it is that it has a pocket to carry the packets of seeds I planned to finally sow.
It is a little late for sowing. Not too late but late compared to other years. The cold 'snap' as the weather forecasters here insist on calling it has abated and so I felt somewhat safe to plant at least a few seeds. H has been kind to me. He built raised beds for me. I mean raised to my waist so that I do not have to bend. He put galvanised metal on the base and bore holes into it for drainage. He filled the beds with glorious black soil that falls through my fingers like fine flour and so I dug around in it, tossing it and sifting it with my trusty trowel until I felt it was all set. Ready for growth.
I happen to adore Swiss Chard. Rainbow Swiss Chard to be precise. It is wonderful stir-fried, steamed or tossed raw into salad. The seeds are big and easily placed into the rows I carve out with an old bamboo stick. Small dog sniffs around in the grass, turns her little head in a quizzical way at some activity in the depths of reeds beyond and I can't help but feel sorry for the frog spawn clinging to the bog grass desperate for water in this dry, cold spell of the last few weeks.
Oh, how I ramble. Forgive me. I am trying to avoid writing about Savita Halappanavar. I don't really want to write about her because I feel it is somewhat wrong because and because and because of what I have been reading about what she had to endure. I read the paper every day and shake my head and feel tears come to my eyes and keep going back to what she must have been going through in this hospital in Galway. I do believe the truth is finally going to come out. I am sure if you are interested in this case you can Google it for yourself. Suffice to say that as a woman who is past child bearing years that I would not like to be a pregnant woman in Galway at this moment. It is not a good thing.
And so I planted my seeds. I hope they grow into something incredibly satisfying or else H will be heart-broken after all the time he invested in the beds. I count each day like a seed planted. I am sorry to bring the loss into this piece but it dominates my day. I am ashamed and fearful of womens' welfare in this country after reading how this poor woman was treated. It is true that I read she was neglected. Then, again, she was not Irish. Could this be a part of the picture? I cannot say. I can think it though. I can grieve for her. She was a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent woman who would have made a perfect mother and look what happened...our law dictated to her that she was in a Catholic country and now what and now what and now what? What has a Catholic country done to saving a life? Sow seeds. Plant. Dig soil. Watch the clouds. Make the brownies. Lock your door. Find your god in nature. Plant in a straight line and for god's sake when you ask for a termination in Ireland ask for a DNC.