Life

Spring has sprung – time to shift the Buddha

It's Spring, so I shifted my Buddha. Not my inner one – he is sitting happily in a corner of my heart, oblivious to the rag 'n' bone shop of niggling thoughts and small black swarms of fear buzzing about him. No, I moved my garden Buddha.

An eruption of Spirea arguta in the garden signals the arrival of Spring

I TOOK him out of hibernation on our patio and I set him under the Spirea arguta, Bridal Wreath, which is sending long plumes of wedding white flowers over his head.

He sits there, eyes closed, head resting sideways on his hands, content.

Not even the thought that he's easy target practice for the birds upsets him.

The cheeky robin likes perching on his head. The baby birds dart and swoop about him. I've set a bounty on the head of the local fat ginger cat.

So what's not to love?

"You moved your Buddha," say the menfolk of the house.

"Do you mean metaphorically?" I ask.

They look at me and the look says, 'dare you try your fancy stuff on us'.

They point outside and make it clear that they mean the garden one.

They are very observant and I tell them so.

But it's an inner shifting of the mindset really.

Last week was the first Spring day that we got out the back and surveyed the damage caused by the winter storms. The fence separating ourselves from next door was swept away in heavy winds – which makes for an interesting vista on the neighbour's garden.

Himself busied himself with the heavy work of shifting bits of broken fence and waging war on our dandelions and next door's too.

He goes in for the kill – I usually make a cup of tea and pour the rest of the kettle on the weeds – a great Bob Flowerdew tip.

I tackled last year's hanging basket which had turned from beauty to beast in the space of a few short months. It was a shrivelled ball of dead plants and weeds.

Then I went around the pots and talked to everyone. I told the acer just how beautiful she is with her delicate fringed leaves and how she really deserves a proper Japanese garden.

Some day, when i have time, I promised, I shall import swirls of pebbles and rake them into waves for her and build a little pool with a trickle of water and grow water lilies.

I warned the rose that one yellow bloom in a summer is a very poor return so she ought to get her act together and go forth and multiply.

And I threatened the ivy with a sharp axe because he really has gone forth and multiplied. That brute has no conscience.

And then the two of us human beings worked for a few hours at the back – Adam and Eve in the unkempt garden of Eden – and then I wiped the winter off our patio table and chairs and we had the first cup of tea of the season in the garden.

What's not to love?

The days are on the turn, the sky is rose pink in the evening and life is sweet.

Too sweet, if you count the Easter eggs I downed in the past week.

So, having lost seven pounds in five weeks with gritted teeth and dogged determination, I put on three pounds in the space of seven days of Easter.

There is a little of the Wilkins Micawber lurking about that situation.

Remember: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery."

Well, the misery as you step off the scales in the diet club is minor in the grand scheme of life, but you feel it nevertheless.

Lent may be over, but I'm back in self denial mode. I'm saying no to bread.

I'm signing up for a bit of light jogging, I'm returning to the gym, I'm going for health.

It's a struggle that gets worse as the years trip by.

Sometimes, I'd really just like to be put out to pasture – graze as much as possible and to hell with mirrors that tell uncomfortable truths and cheery nurses who trill "Just hop up on the scale," and health checks and the statins winking at me from the chemist's shelf.

It's a stage of life.

Put your head down and just keep going – that's what I do in the pool as the super fast swimmers power by.

But it's Spring... I've shifted my Buddhas, roll on the light evenings.

Life

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