Another rainy day – a touch of Kahlil Gibran – hedge cutting

Here am I sitting at my desk writing this diary with a hot water bottle on my knee. This continuous rain is getting very tiresome and cold is creeping into me. It does depress the spirit somewhat but also prevents me from doing any gardening work and keeping the coffers topped up.  Our allotment is due to have a barbecue on Saturday. It is hardly barbecue weather but at the moment that forecast is somewhat better over the weekend with lack of rain and wind so we will have to decide what we do.

I was reflecting on my son who is going to get married in the next month or so in India. Due to my problem with electro-sensitivity and various other situations I am not able to attend the wedding. At the last count, there were 325 people coming. They do things big in India but I think the majority of guests regard this as a free meal. The bride certainly does not know the vast majority of them never mind the groom.

I found this quote from The Prophet very useful:

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.   And he said:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

*****

Today I did some voluntary work and went to cut down some laurel hedges in our local church yard – all Saints in Paulton. The hedges had overgrown ludicrously and I think they had never been trimmed since they were planted about 30 years ago. Hard pruning is not for the fainthearted because the result looks bare to say the least but laurel grows fast. The work was easy because laurel wood is very soft and you can cut through branches 3 inches thick with a decent pair of cutters.

On the way back home I went to see a lady who needed some trimming to her hedge. She greeted us with great dignity and showed us around the property and what she wanted done. She says she would have loved it to do it herself but was unable to because her husband had a stroke seven years ago and she has to look after him all the time. I said to her, supportively that it was not just a question of time but of energy and being free from the distraction of for example having to go back to tend to your husband when you are halfway through a job.

It is always difficult to know what to charge. I think I may have discussed this before but my inclination is to say that the normal commercial charge would be so much, are you comfortable with that? If the client is not then we can talk. She was a pleasant enough lady and I hope we can do business.