Over the course of my nearly 59 years, I’ve had my share of broken bones, including a couple of ankles. Those lovely heavy plasters you get fitted with have nice strong feet and, with a bit of old tyre for protection, leave you pretty mobile and capable of doing just about anything you could do normally.
But thanks to a faulty ladder and a fall from about 4 feet off the ground, I now find myself with nothing more than a sprained ankle. And it’s driving me nuts, not because of the bit of pain but because I cannot do something as simple as dig the garden – I have to keep the faulty foot off the ground and support myself on a pair of crutches. I can bum-wriggle to do a bit of weeding ok but digging is out of the question. And I’ve got a load of new plants to get into the ground, many currently in 5 litre pots. There’s no way I can bum-wriggle into the middle of a border and I’ll be digging for ages if I use a trowel. And that’s assuming I can find a way to shift the 5 litre pot near to where the plant is going.
But while I sit here getting increasingly fed up the hourly arrival of pre-bank holiday emails from garden centres, nurseries and the like, I realise that I’m getting frustrated and almost angry over nothing. It’s only a sprain. It’s just that, like so many, I simply take for granted that I’ll always be able to do x, y, z in the way I’ve always done them and have no way of adapting when I cannot.
My dad had only one leg but he coped with almost everything. Mum developed osteoporosis but despite needing a walking frame on wheels to get around, she kept on gardening almost all her life. And I know people who live in wheelchairs yet achieve a lot – just look at what our Paralympians achieved last summer. One thing is common between them – I’ve never heard them bemoaning their lot. They just get on with life and they do that pretty well.
So with my mere sprain, I hang my head in shame and stop moaning. At least it won’t be long before I’m ok again.
But those plants had better survive in their pots a bit longer or I shall have some sharp words for them!