Word garden



You might think this picture is a glimpse into a garden, one that might grow fruit like apples and quinces and raspberries. Or perhaps this is a garden that grows garlic and kale and sometimes tomatoes?  Well, yes, it is. It does grow those things.   But this gate here, leads to my garden that also grows words.   It is actually a word garden. Did you ever hear of such a thing? 

Lately I feel that I’ve run out of words.  They’ve been eaten all up.  By work commitments and parenting worries and laundry piles. And also by a big HG Wells type contraption in the city.   But I need to write more words, so I will head out here for a while, tending and nurturing the garden, trying to encourage more words to grow.   

I will bend over the beds and get to work.   The soil will feel cold on my fingers, as I pull out the weeds and toss them into a heap.  Occasionally I will take a moment and stiffly stand up, put my hands on hips and arch my stiff back, closing my eyes as the sun hits my face, before getting on with it and tossing more weeds onto the ever growing compost pile.  When the weeds are cleared, and as it is winter, I might sow seeds of broad beans and spinach and peas.

I will stay out here, and do the garden chores until the words come.  And they always do.   Mostly, they come out of the soil, they float up from the ground like an easy pulling weed. I can trap the words in the dirt under my fingernails.  And when I have enough words, I rush them inside and hurriedly put them on paper, captured just like a bug in a jar.

Sometimes the words arrive on the breeze, get caught in my hair and I have to tie it back tightly, so the words don’t fall out and escape before I can get them inside.   If I let my hair out, the words may float away up into the trees, where the birds will snatch them in their beaks and use them to make a nest.  

But the very best words don’t actually grow in my garden, but live behind our house, on the steep hillside with tall stringy trees, strappy grasses and giant boulders.  Hidden away in secret caves with sandy floors, that’s where the words live, I am sure.  They hide in there until they can see me far below in the valley, working in the garden.  Then the words tumble down the hillside and into my head. When they arrive I best not linger, they won’t stay long, in one ear and out the other.  I go inside to trap them.    If I don’t they will disappear, tumbling down to the river beyond before floating out to sea, where maybe a fish might swallow them whole.

So yes, in this garden, this messy untended garden with its wonky beds, its possum chewed apple trees and its escaping raspberries is where I will be.  Growing words, delicious tasty fresh new words, to trap them in a book. 

40 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful post. You have a gift of writing the most interesting and heartfelt words.

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    1. Thank you Ann, that is so sweet of you to say. x

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  2. This has to be one of the most beautifully written posts I've ever had the pleasure of reading Michelle! As I read I could see in my mind little words jumping out of soil & floating by on the breeze. I could see you standing & stretching & lifting your face to sun because I do the same when in my garden. Such a lovely way to start my day reading a post like this. Thank you xxxx

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    1. Thank you for you lovely words Reannon. xx

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  3. what beautiful gorgeous words... I just love the way you wrote this and can so relate to how those words come to you... for me it's also in the garden, but when I crochet too and sometimes on the motorbike... I've just never been able to articulate that... thank you for this gorgeous post!

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    1. They are magic the way words come to you - glad you can relate. x

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  4. I'm glad you captured these beautiful words, before they slipped away!

    Possibly my favourite words of yours ever, in all my years of visiting here.

    Rachel xo

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  5. very evocative Michelle, lovely stuff

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    1. Thank you Steve, that means a lot coming from such a talented writer such as you x

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  6. This painted such a picture in my mind - beautiful!

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  7. "Sometime the words arrive on the breeze, and get caught in my hair and I have to tie it back tightly, so the words don’t fall out and escape before I can get them inside".

    Im new here and I like it already. I love those words. Thank you x

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    1. Welcome Hayley Gemma and thanks for your kind words.x

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  8. Just beautiful Michelle x

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  9. This was so beautiful and NEEDED that I've shed a few tears reading it. I'm tying back my hair right now too because you've inspired so many words to flow. Thank you. x

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    1. Oh my Bron, thank you so much for saying that. xx

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  10. I think this might be my fave blog post of yours ever.
    Just so perfect and eloquent and right.
    xx

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    1. That's so sweet of you to say Kate, thank you x

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  11. It seems like the words have found you Michelle. This was beautiful to read x

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  12. Oh, it's so nice to see your post and hear your words. I can see in other places you've been busy, but I just love seeing you back here xxx

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    1. Thank you Deborah Lee, I hope I can keep it up! xx

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  13. Oh, how beautiful:) Isn't gardening wonderful for getting the thoughts and words flowing? I find it the bestest thing for my writing - to be outside getting grubby and growing stuff. Enjoy your word garden:) x

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    1. Thanks Kim, gardens are special places. x

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  14. Oh Michelle. Like some of the others said, I think this really is my favourite post of yours ever too. You've captured something that I think so many of us can identify with but you've described it with words I want to see visually. If I could paint, I would paint your beautiful word garden.
    Ahh, I don't think I can read anything else today. Nothing else will compare, I'm leaving it there...

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    1. that's so lovely to hear Brydie, thank you xx

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  15. I picture word fairies, rolling and milling and fussing down those hills toward you- each fairy a personality; inspiring, heavy, thoughtful, emotional, wacky. So many word fairies to catch and release into your book. I just love those you caught for this post!

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  16. This IS the most beautiful post ever. I can visualise the scene as if I'm watching it unfold in a film. Amazing. x

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  17. Dear Michelle,

    THANK YOU for this beautfiully penned post. You have touched my heart and soul all the way to France. I do not garden much but, as one of the owners of one of our local, smaller Loire Valley chateaux said to me recently, I garden with words. I love writing about gardens and feel strongly that gardens are the most amazing vessel for all manner of arts. This post has further fed this belief.

    Happy sigh.

    Stephanie

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  18. One of THE most beautiful posts I've ever read Michelle. Endless thank you's.

    {P.S. I can't wait to see you at The Photo School - only a couple of weeks to go!} x

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  19. What a lovely post! I think you captured your words perfectly. And -- I know this feeling so well!!

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  20. The. Best. Wonderful wonderful words, Michelle xx

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  21. What a beautiful, whimsical reflection.

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  22. Will look forward to reading the harvest from your garden
    x

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  23. What a refreshingly lovely post! Thoroughly enjoyed!

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  24. What an amazing post! Gorgeous imagery which I will remember when I am in the garden or walking the paths gathering my own words. Thanks x

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  25. Thank you for sharing your garden of words and a little of your self. Simply beautiful xx

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