A phrase I’ve come across many times, no idea where it comes from but it resonates with me. First of all, I love to grow stuff. But secondly, and more generally, it says something about how I see my life.
I spent the first years of my life in London, then moved to Bath with my family when I was nearly 14. At the time I felt uprooted, out of place, torn from everything I knew. It was hard. I was here for 4 years then left to go to university and made my home in other places.
So it came as a great surprise to me that when, some years later, Malcolm and I returned to live here with our young children, I felt like I’d ‘come home’.
For many years we have regularly visited our friends in Denmark. How I loved their life there – the enjoyment of home, the growing, the baking, the hens, the Danish style, the knitting, the strong community. The hygge*. I wished and wished we could live there, do that, have that life. But it was’t a realistic possibility for us (or more honestly, we just made other choices).
Then gradually, gradually, it dawned on me that I could have all of that right where I am. I just needed to do it, to make it happen rather than plug into something that was already there. I’ve been doing it now for over 20 years.
I started to bake all our own bread, I took up knitting again. Later the hens came along, we grow more and more of our own fruit and vegetables. We make the small extra effort to bring hygge to our home. We have good neighbours and friends, we’re part of our local community.
I’m still growing where I’m planted. And I love my life. Lucky lucky me.
* Hygge: difficult to define, but an integral part of Danish life and community. Cosiness, homeliness, comfort come close but don’t really quite get there.