Last November I remembered to plant daffodil bulbs, and almost a month ago now, up they came, and flowered. I’m a hopeless gardener; I amost never plan, and when I do I often get it wrong and plant things in totally the wrong places, but I always get excited when I see green shoots appearing from beneath bare earth and it always seems miraculous.
The daffodils stand amongst a sea of wild celandines which arrive unbidden and cover every inch of open soil, but I can’t bear to tear them out; I welcome them every bit as much as the plants I put in myself and I’m grateful that they feel at home.
The flowers open and close again during the course of the day as warmth and sunlight reaches them in the morning and then fades away in the evening. Opening, closing; one of the natural cycles that is easy to see. I watch them from the kitchen window as I stand washing dishes, and gaze down on them from the bedroom window first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Qigong is all about opening and closing, too; the movements are circular, everything flows. I have taken to practising Tai Chi in the garden.
Mostly I practise just standing, which is not as easy as it sounds but which my body seems to find strangely familiar, as if this is something it already knows how to do and has always known. In fact I’m beginning to suspect that my body knows an awful lot about healing, and even untutored could accomplish miracles if only I would listen to it and let it teach me. It’s so easy to forget but it just needs time, and patience, and the simple matter of paying attention.