Plough the field you’re given

A small garden. A small vase. A few minutes with the scissors. It’s amazing what can pass for bounty when you set your mind to it. Although I whine a lot about the Microgarden, it can often be counted on to produce a pretty nice bouquet, even in different seasons. This one, I gave to my sister.

For some reason, this reminded me of the words that make up my title. They’re from poet and author D.M. Thomas, who I had the privilege of workshopping with at the Humber School for Writers.

He told me that, in writing, we have to work with what we’ve got. More eloquently, “You’ve got to plough the field you’re given.” The unspoken part is that whatever you’re given, it can be enough. You can make something of it, if you will.

That quote becomes both figurative and literal when it comes to gardening. Consider what our neighbour down the street has been given – a long, narrow slope between fence and sidewalk.

And just look what she has created.

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