Spring | The Compost Christ Flowers Again | SymbolLife™


Image060Spent a glorious sunny Spring day on the allotment today. Jonny recently posted a photo celebrating the great weather we’ve had (on and off) recently. And today was another stunner.

Having oh-so-mocked, it’s good to see Grace have an allotment now too… In fact there are record waiting lists at most plots across London. I’m not surprised. In a time when leisure has been sold up and marketed in malls as mass entertainment, genuine re-creation is hard to come by.

The photo tells a lot about why I’m such a fan. The paving slabs were from Freecycle, picked up yesterday. The onions I’d just planted a gift from our neighbour who’d had a double order delivered. The tools shared in a shed we bought for £20 from someone else on the plots. Allotments are all about these simple gift exchanges, and the relationships to others and the earth that they bring. A borrowed wheelbarrow, a helping hand lifting stones, a gift of food, a word of advice.

Of course, we have no need to grow our own food. But doing so is a small part of the attempt we are making to ‘live symbolically’. These little acts do not themselves change much, but point to something bigger, and thus perhaps add to a building resonance of hope for a better future. There is actually a long history of the socio-political in allotment gardening, and there are strong connections to parts of the anarchist movement insomuch as it is about taking back under your own control something that corporations have ruled. There are myriad other benefits: good exercise, reduction in food miles… and the simple pleasure of getting ‘sur les pavés’ and back to the earth. But, most importantly, it’s about entering a cycle of gift; if you read Lewis Hyde, you can’t help feel the soil pushing through his soul.


Technorati: | | | | |