The Optimistic Gardener

My other half is sitting next to me, mostly hidden by the enormous newspaper we like to indulge ourselves in over the weekend. Behind this paper thin wall I hear giggling then full blown laughter, now he is in hysterics. He peers at me over the sheets, eyes lit up with glee. ” Come on then, out with it” I mumble pretending to be not at all interested.

He is reading an article, written by Sarfaz Manzoor for The Telegraph weekend. It’s a brilliant article about ‘a wife who sees the brighter side of life’. Sarfaz reflects on his struggle to live with an optimistic wife, a woman who is always late, always in a rush and always believing she can pack more into a day than is humanly possible. I want to hang out with his wife.

My husband is tickled by this read because he knows better than anyone that I too am a hopeless chronoptimist and will always have a glass half full. But of course I am. I am a gardener after all, an outdoorsy type, affected by the changing seasons that, right now, are wickedly luring me into cosy hibernation. I slide into this restful period happily, for I am confident of the explosion of new energy in spring. Surely all gardener’s are optimists, if we weren’t, would we ever get anything done? When we buy a packet of seeds and they tumble out of the packet, dry and lifeless, we have no doubt at all that a couple of weeks after planting, new life will emerge and we will be delighted. We will plant out our tiny offspring and revel in it’s maturity.

Even weeding is full of optimism, the satisfaction of surveying our beautifully hoed earth leaves us no time to contemplate the prospect of having to do it all over again in a week or two. And when we do, no doubt the sun will shine, the air will be fresh and we will enjoy a deep rooted sense of well being.

One of the tips in The Telegraph’s ‘How to cope with an optimist’ suggests that         ‘The next time the optimist in your life is late, pass the time waiting for them by muttering “punctuality is overrated” and smashing your pointless wristwatch into pieces.’

Chances are, if you are waiting for an optimistic gardener, they won’t own a wristwatch for they are indeed pointless. After all, who needs a wristwatch to tell you you can squeeze another hour of gardening out of a gradually shortening day, surely the moon is there for  reason…


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