6 May 2009
TEACHING CHILDREN WELL
I remember my mum in the garden. When I was a kid she’d sling me worms. Big fat juicy ones. I’d put them in a bucket and take them round all day until they dried up and died. Later I learnt about the relationship between worms, moisture and soil.
Mum grew peas and broad beans. I can still see the little maggots in pea pods and can’t ever smell a broad bean without thinking of her. She also grew beetroot. Mum made a real meal of eating them, literally. All earthy sweetness and pink grins back then. Neither me, my dad or brother liked them.
I played in the garden while mum bent her back. At weekends dad would often tackle major jobs, like cutting back ivy from under the gutters, hedge trimming or creosoting the fence. He’d wear jeans, the only time we ever saw him out of work clothes or comfy slacks. Ladders, paint pots, tools and power cables. I dodged around them both, in and out to watch telly, listen to records or go up the field to play footy with the lads.
Now I’m the age my folks were way back then. Their pleasure in the magic of the garden obviously touched my soul because I feel it too. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than on the plot with dirty nails. They never actually taught me how to grow fruit and veg, but I picked up snippets along the way and what I didn’t know was researched in books.
Mum and dad are now too old to garden as much as they’d like. The minds are willing but the body, well, we all know how that feels. But just as their leisurely loves rubbed off on me so too did mine on them. Even though they hated the music I listened to in my youth they’ll play the odd track that my brother or I listened to as boys, and remember the good times.
Copyright, Dirty Nails