The Rake’s Progress



I have downed tools; writing tools that is and no longer sit for hours with pencil and paper, or rattling the virtual keys of a laptop. Writing used to be a joy. Increasingly, over the last months and especially into the new year, joy has morphed to aversion; that exam feeling, impending doom, futility. Ugh.

Now there is the rake. It’s probing fingers scrawping weeds, trails of ivy and fallen leaves to satisfying heaps hour after hour. The repetitive sound and action soothes as it productively, seductively whiles away time.

I look now at denuded swathes of what was euphemistically called the wild garden and feel a deep calm. Why ever did we make paths here, lined with the granite stones that proliferate above and below the soil? Without the stones there is more unity, more peace. The garden plot sweeps majestically to its finale – the road and, with a squint, the sea.

Barrow load after barrow load of stones large and small is tipped into the insatiable stream. Admittedly the stream is fuller and faster following recent rains, but even so it swallows these incomers as if it can never have enough. (Just as well, I have nowhere near finished.)

Perhaps those rough hewn stones strewing the garden are metaphors for stumbling blocks, words, and life and the garden are simpler without them.




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