Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Dirt Therapy

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin.

Over the last few days, due to a major kitchen renovation, I have been unable to get outside into my garden.  For someone who loves to spend time with their hands in the dirt all weekend, the absence of doing so has a strange effect on me.

Call me weird (or not), but because I have not been able to garden, I began to feel a wave of the blues coming on.  Symptoms were irritability, snappy at family members, grumpy and just a feeling of being down.  Some would have been the so called 'seasonal depression' due to our winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, or the stress of the kitchen renovation, but I certainly was not myself until today and now I know why.

Because the builders were jack hammering up all of the old floor tiles, my wife, me, plus our two dogs had the pleasure of spending the entire day in the carport in 10C temps with the occational rain shower.  Some may think that this would be a miserable way to spend their day, with the thumping sound of a jack hammer in the background all day, but not I.  I spent the entire day in the garden, weeding, fertilising and just performing a bit of general maintenance like composting and talking to the chickens.  It was such a good feeling to plunge my hands into the dirt, and with it all my worries and melancholy faded away.  Such relief from such a simple act. 

All I can add is the simple fact that working in my food garden is worth more than all the shrinks in the world.  Free therapy, with the side effect of free food thrown in!  Who could ask for more than that?  I feel calm and looking forward to another day of jack hammering so that I can spend the day in my front garden doing some weeding.

Wacko or not?  What do you think?  Do you feel the need to get out there in your garden after an absence, just to take away the blues?