My hands smell of soil, they are stained and scratched, dirt embedded under my fingernails. I like to call it a gardener’s manicure. I usually hate anything under my nails, sand grates and teases me terribly, but not mud. Not the evidence of a job well done.
I am quiet now. After a week of movement and connections and epiphanies (Blog about that Here: Finding my Voice), I am back home, and pottering. Today was my perfect day (Blog Post Here: A Perfect Day).
I am riding the wave of recovery. First came the hyper-alertness, then came the exhaustion, and now comes the silence. I don’t have words for you. Not because I’m shut down, but because I’m content in my silence, and if I work with it I will find a happier voice on the other side.
I have watched a money-spider skitter and tumble over my knee. I have followed the buzz of a bumblebee. I have found forget-me-nots I had forgotten. I have dug and sweated and sworn. I have twined jasmine around and around until it was dizzy. I have weaved raspberry canes into a pleasing tangle.
This is my idea of resting and recharging. Constant, gentle, busyness, moving from one thing to the next as the mood takes me.
My garden is not a manicured thing, it is a reflection of me. There are spaces for lawn, there are rugged banks where the grass grows wildly, there are splashes of colour, there are hodge-podge ideas that work, or don’t depending on your perspective.
There is a vegetable patch made out of an old cart-wheel that I found, that is now overgrown with all the things I didn’t eat enough of. And grass. Lots of grass too.
There are brambles that I will battle all summer long, only to be glad of their victory when Summer wanes and they offer up their commiseration-blackberries.
There are the fruit trees that I planted in the hope of a future filled with fruit. That’s why what we do today is always important, we are always sowing seeds for tomorrow, whether literally or not. This year the plum tree’s blossom makes me promises I hope are kept.
This is what working with my autism looks like. Reconnecting with the world. Noticing the important things. Sharing them with the people I love.
When I have to drag myself out of it, uproot myself from a world of nourishment, I am raw and lost. Everything is twisted metal. Colours are grey. Sounds are sharp and discordant. But leave me alone to grow and I will march back into the fray, Ent-like in my strength and helpfulness.
My autism could not be more aware of the importance of a day like today. Not the noise and clamour of Awareness, but the silent, head-nod of acceptance. My acceptance. My acceptance of me.
Today me, tomorrow the world. The day after? Maybe a bit more pottering.