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y life seeds

Y life seeds

Sometimes I imagine throwing them in fistfuls from my mobility scooter, slowly watching flowers take over every overlooked crack. For now, I scatter my seeds neatly, restrained, into my waiting trays, satisfied that the small wilderness I can make in my yard is enough, but I like knowing that I could. I guess all seeds dream of spreading.

The wonder of it. French marigold seeds like fairy arrows, the dried-up caterpillars of calendula, shrivelled brains of nasturtium. Seeds like stories. Seeds like dust. It takes me forever to sow them because I can’t help but pore over them. They are young like me, but look tired, dry and useless, much like me too, and yet, and yet. I hold these tiny, still specks in my hands and I know that with enough of them, I could leave this place and turn the whole shabby town I live in into a whole new sort of countryside.

M y countryside is a small terraced yard, bricked in by peeling houses and crumbling walls. It is the only countryside I’ve had access to for a long time, but it has all the important parts: good earth, things that grow, things that sing, crawl and buzz. My physical disability keeps me contained here, but despite me, it is a place of endless life and movement.

Country Diary is on Twitter at @gdncountrydiary

As I sow, I whisper the greatest prayer of hope and trust I know: “But will you grow? Will you be with me here?” And then April comes and the question is answered. “Yes,” say the new shoots. “Yes”.

Every year, seeds become good companions in constraint, teaching me what restriction is and what it isn’t, showing me when to wait and when to move. However long and cold the winter, eventually I get to take my first unsteady steps down the path to the potting shed – the old outhouse in fact, piled high with seed trays and flowerpots – to begin anew. No matter what grew or failed last year, I get to fill the trays, start again. I spend all of March smiling. How can you not?

This article was amended on 29 July 2021. An earlier version gave the location of the country diary as “Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands”.

Y life seeds

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