I don’t have any tattoos.
I contemplated getting a henna tattoo once while traveling in the United States to try it out, but when I looked around – it seemed that everyone had one. It lost the uniqueness that made it semi-attractive. Now, decades following, I have no regrets.
But I liked the designs and I liked the simplicity of the contrasting, simple colours. I’ve designed a few tattoos, but they stay as designs. Nowadays I look over sketch books from my travels and the main themes are garden related. I also have notebooks, discarded envelopes and the inner wrappers of chocolate bars marked with ideas for gardens.
The dilemma of course is that now that I am back working in the garden and starting to create something more of a little paradise, I simply am not able to utilise all the ideas. There are physical constraints and of course the old fashioned time and money constraints, but also some of the concepts won’t fit in a working relationship with each other.
I spent most of yesterday moving limestone rubble from the front of the house, up the slope, up the stairs and to paths marked out between the raised garden beds. The day was hot. I changed clothes twice and at the end of a long, exhausting day I passed comment at the dinner table that if there was ever a time I would actually enjoy a beer, this would be it. I am not generally a beer drinker. Maybe one a year. This year being the exception as I drank more beer at the wedding in Vietnam than I have in the last twenty years!
Seeing the deep, authentic yearning in my face, Mrs PP actually went and picked up a beer. It was a lovely thing to do and it quenched a thirst deep down that none of the copious bottles of water or lime juice that I had consumed during the day could ever do.
I slept well. Not an ache or pain in my body. But my feet are stained black from working in the sand and soil in the garden. That fine, fine dust works it’s way in and takes an age to wash out. I don’t have tattoos, but my feet are dyed by the earth.
I hope that the Little Fellas will also have dirty feet. Stained by the earth they walk on and care for.