Wake up and plant the roses

Brockwell Park

Cool sunny October day. Last night Boris Johnson got a deal with the EU. Will he get it through Parliament tomorrow? Who knows. DUP are saying NO. But we’ve been watching this Brexit car crash for over 3 years now and anything could happen. I’m still watching on in horror and confusion.

My knee is still playing up. Osteoarthritis according to the physio. At least my blood sugar levels have come down. I really enjoyed my walks around Brockwell Park, spurred on by my 10,000 steps a day target. ‘Walking away from diabetes’ they call it, and it seems to have worked for me. Just wish I could walk without the pain in my knee.

Brockwell Park is a great space within the air-polluted streets of South London. It’s green and hilly, giving views over London, and from some parts you could believe you were in the countryside. I feel guilty and powerless about the legacy our generation is leaving for our grandchildren. I can hear Ollie saying when he gets to those difficult teenage years – ‘Grandad, why didn’t you do anything to save the planet’. Is it too late for me to help make a difference? Is it too late for Mother Earth?

Yesterday Extinction Rebellion hit the headlines when a few of them stood on top of a tube train during the morning rush hour. Angry commuters dragged them down to the platform. Not sure I agree with their methods, but these protesters are getting more people talking about the issue, and I applaud their bravery.

I have managed to plant 2 roses into the garden. They had been given to us by someone who wanted rid of them. I had them in pots initially, but they are quite tall and were constantly leaning over and difficult to keep upright. They look much better in the ground, and I look forward to the smile of their yellow flowers next year. Next task is to move the ceanothus. We got it 2-3 years ago, but I hadn’t realised how tall and wide it would grow. I put it too near the front of the border and it’s dominating the other plants there. I’ve already prepared a hole at the back of the border, so now I need to carefully dig it up and re-plant it in a better spot. Hope it survives.

Giving space to plants in my garden is good, but not enough. I must gather the resolve to do more in the fight against climate change. I’m not sure what. I don’t think I’m ready to join Extinction Rebellion. The teachings I have heard from Thich Nhat Hanh might provide a guide. He is a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, who went to America during the Vietnam War, and later established Plum Monastery in France. I went on a retreat led by him some years ago. I really like his teaching. Mindfulness was a major part of it, and this was long before it became popular in the West. It was also about taking care of the planet, and about mindful consumption. I think his way of life provides a template for how we could all adopt a lifestyle to combat climate change. Understanding and spreading his messages might be the best way for me to have a response for Ollie.

Thich Nhat Hanh