Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Planter or a Builder?

“Are you a builder or a planter?”

It was hardly a pick-up line but that was the first question he has ever thrown at me and I was too flustered to answer in his native language the conversation never really took off.

As a group of friends, we were crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from a weekend in the Moroccan capital of Tangiers. We were discussing the merits of the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho and he has just been persuaded to read Brida which he was leafing through and where the difference between a builder and a planter was discussed.

I have since made up for the mental block and have since married the man who has made our garden his creative refuge. It doesn’t have to be sunny or warm, rain wouldn’t keep him away. It’s one of those things that make him “like Papa” and for which he is rather proud of (proof that “You marry your father”).

Thus, our idea of a weekend of relaxation is a trip to the local B&Q or for a more expensive treat it’s a visit to the Garden Centre. I love those outings. I get to pick which plants we get to have although they usually gets vetoed as they don’t suit the soil we have or they won’t get enough sunlight needed to survive (what do I know of those things?). I also do my bit of gardening too (without getting my hands dirty) by pointing out which flowers had to go to which pot and where to position them in the garden. Then of course, I get to take the photos when the flowers bloom!

“In his or her life, each person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. Builders may take years over their tasks, but one day they will finish what they are doing. Then they will stop, hemmed in by their own walls. Life becomes meaningless once the building is finished. Those who plant suffer the storms and the seasons and rarely rest. Unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And by its constant demands on the gardener’s attention, it makes the gardener’s life a great adventure.” Paulo Coelho, Bride

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