I can’t really say why but green has become ‘Emmets’ colour, and Réaltas is blue. But it has.
Enclosed leafy spaces where the light shines through and everywhere is green and bright remind me of Emmet, and big blue skies and starry nights make me feel closer to Reá. I like forests and groves and big open skies. I love living in this city, I love the freedom. But I miss the plants. Lincoln and the waterways are beautiful but there isn’t open fields ten paces from my front door.
I felt very fidgety and panicky the last few days, sort of unsettled and impatient. I am recovering from another severe hip dislocation and it’s meaning I am having to slow down a lot. I’m in my wheelchair for the foreseeable future and I can’t pretend I’m not frustrated at my physical condition. I am unable to really walk or stand and I am finding myself literally crawling about if I can’t use my wheelchair.
Normally I am so busy hurrying about that I don’t give myself time to think about anything, but the last week I have been forced to sit down and wait it out. I can’t go on my long ‘get it out of your system’ walks.
I have been reading gardening magazines and looking at pot plants on Pinterest hoping that I can just enjoy my hobby in other ways but I realise that it is something I rely on quite strongly to process what I feel and channel my feelings somewhere useful.
For some reason I became obsessive about ‘needing’ houseplants the last few days or so.
A bit like craving food, except it was plants and I exhausted myself trying to find any and couldn’t and generally got very worked up over green leaves in a pot.
I saw an image like this in a magazine and I HAD to have plants. Right that instant. It suddenly became very very important that I had more plants immediately. The three I had were. Not enough I needed more before the world would be okay again.
The room looked so peaceful it seemed like the answer to my frustration.
My friend is very understanding and has no problem going on crazy missions with little explanation, but even the very understanding C pointed out that I might as well give up and try again on the weekend when I went back to Norfolk. Anywhere my wheelchair and I could access in Lincoln had no plants.
Its the time of year where I would normally start to potter over at the allotment and plant seeds in paper cups to propagate; except this year I am living in a city and I have no garden.
I visited my parents this weekend but I couldn’t get to the allotment due to my hip. I plant-napped (in the guise of a fair trade, not only my own houseplants, but a fair few of mothers duplicates with an agreement I get more. And mum got a 5 quid hyacinth arrangement from the florist at the train station as a trade.)
I also bought sprouted daffodil bulbs in a pot. Normally I would never do that, but desperate times call for desperate measures: and there is already one cheerful little flower and it has brought me so much peace just knowing it is there. I imagine one day painting our future child’s room that cheerful yellow. Or maybe having bedding. I think that much yellow would hurt the eyes.
My green fingers always start to itch near the beginning of February, when I can start to see snowdrops and hyacinths, and daffodils are slowly creeping into the supermarkets.
I buy seeds and just sort of ‘poke’ at the allotment as my mother calls it. Clearing away winter much and last seasons leaves and whatnot.
My allotment at my parents is only a mini plot and I have a lot of pots in the yard and plants indoors. And if I am honest going to the allotment was the only thing that kept me out of the house in October 2016 after my first loss. I absolutely threw myself into it when I knew I was miscarrying Emmet (I should have rested and let my body heal but I would have gone mad indoors with my grief). I did more that day than I think I have ever achieved before or since in a weeks work.
I exhausted myself to the point of oblivion and continued on the same path for the next month. My allotment was absolutely pristine, and everything else in my life felt like one big old mess. But at least the war on thistles was temporary a victory in my favour.
I feel more peaceful now I have my plants. My allotment, although it doesn’t have any particular mementos or ornaments for Emmet or Reá, has become one of the places in my life I consider ‘for them’. Not getting to my allotment was bothering me so much and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.
My silly ornaments that hide in between my cut flowers are ‘for them’ in a way I guess. I know they are designed for children’s gardens, but they make the kiddos who I take on the allotment smile, so that is my excuse should I need one. My little cousins like them. I imagined bringing my future children to the allotments and letting them play with their own watering cans like I did as a kid. My allotment is a perpetual hope for the future. You plant seeds and hope, you water and hope, and I buy childish ornaments and hope one day my own children will enjoy similar ones.
Back when we first started speaking of wanting a family, my partners and I agreed we want an allotment or a garden to bring our children too. As he helped me dig my plot that summer, before we realised having a family would come sooner than we thought and never how we imagined, we just looked at our work and talked naively and hopefully about the future. As casually as if we were discussing whether or not the dahlias would do well in the autumn.
They did. They thrived that October and filled my house with colour when the rest of my life seemed grey and having lost all meaning.
My little allotment garden is a way if feel both grounded, and with my babies simultaneously. I get a tangible sense of achievement when I see my flowers, because it is bloody hard work, and then the flowers fill my house and my room. I give flowers to the church, which was a big ritual of mine in October 2016 when we lost Emmet. I would go to the allotment. Pick my flowers and do work that needed doing, walk to the church and place my flowers in the lady Chapel, tidy any of the old flowers that had been left behind. Ensure the rest of the areas I could tidy up were clean and walk back home the long way round so that by the time I got home nobody could see I had cried sat in the church praying to a god I didn’t think was listening.
My flowers and my plants and both a hobby, as well as a therapy. I feel peace with my plants.
I still state I like dogs and plants more than people. And I hope I can cultivate pot ants as well as I can my allotment over the next few years.
Love and support always,
Surviving Miscarriage Together x