It rained on Thursday night.
The temperature had been in the high 80s to low 90s all week, which to a Brit is rather like standing in a satanic sauna fuelled by hot mildew. We don’t do dry heat.
Work was slow yet steady up at Dave interspersed with lashing of Hibiscus tea and gallons of Evian. I was tired, hot and grumpy.
I kept having these weird dreams about my former job. These were confused, unfathomable images and although my life is good, I felt flat and restless.
In the middle of yet another sleepless night, I heard the distant rumble of thunder and turned to see the first flash of lightning.
I ran out on to the balcony and stood there in the rain, and watched people dancing in the raindrops at 3am.
It sounds like a cliché, but the flashes of lightning began to illuminate my confused dreams.
I lost my job exactly one year ago.
I’ve talked about that particular chain of events many times here. I lost my job and then we lost our home. We spent three months cooped up in one room in a temporary shelter with all our possessions in storage.
This was possibly the lowest point of my life.
In farming, you burn the vegetation clear and then leave the land fallow over the winter months. In the spring, the land comes back to life again and rejuvenates. Our fallow period was those three months.
Since then, my life has completely changed and for the better. Gardening is my passion and I’m working towards a qualification. Our new home is secure and our sanctuary.
My former bosses did me a huge favour by burning the vegetation and leaving my life’s land fallow. I couldn’t understand why I was still angry and upset.
And then, with each flash of lightning, it became clear. During my fourteen months at my old job, I became good friends with one of my bosses. He got me into a lot of new music and we talked a great deal about politics and the ecology. His former partner was a gardener and I started thinking about plants and growing things.
It was a good friendship and one that was very precious to me. We had a falling out and I never spoke to him again.
Over the year, I replaced everything in my old life with something new. I moved forward. But I left the old friendship without a clearly defined end and my dreams were shouting at me.
As the rain washed over my face, I thought about the plants that died - my first batch of thyme that refused to grow and the basil that never made it.
Nothing goes to waste in a garden. Dead and dying plants go on the compost heap to turn into fertile soil for new vegetables. Old soil rejuvenates with the addition of manure and loving care. You gather seeds from each harvest and save them for the next batch of planting.
Sometimes friendships die no matter how much care and attention you give them. When I turned the compost heaps last week I noticed new shoots appearing from stray seeds in the mix. The seeds of love and kindness are always present in life and the trick is to let them grow.
Gardening is a learning curve and each day brings a new challenge. The bedrock of growing plants is fertile soil made up of layers of dead matter and years of plants gone before. No matter how strong the seeds are, they need that soil.
You need the soil of wisdom and experience to grow seeds of love and kindness.
I’ve made new and lasting friendships up at The Green Centre but in my haste to move on I hadn’t cleared the space in my garden to let them grow.
After the rain, the sun came out again and I noticed new growth in Dave and Sam. The peppers are fruiting and the tomatoes are turning red. My garden is growing and so am I and the dreams don’t bother me anymore. It’s all exactly as it should be now.