I like to think that I am wild, untethered, free. I live in London. There is not a great deal of faraway in the view from my window. I watch those trees growing by the sides of the road with their tiny tamed square areas of earth around their trunks, otherwise surrounded by concrete, road and pavement: growing upwards because it is the only way to grow.
I look at my quiet flowering garden, an oasis that is not without its violence. I try to leave the trees and shrubs and flowering plants to do their own thing, to grow wildly without form or patent, but even then, once a year in winter, I hack them back, prune, control and refashion them. I remind myself each year that is not ‘my’ garden. If I just left them, resisted the urge to become involved in shaping the garden into my own image, then soon enough the garden would become the garden’s garden and I, along with my sheers, would have no place there.
I seek great solace looking at those trees by the side of the road, knowing that when they reach a certain size they will outgrow that square foot of mud and will need more room to flourish, expand. If no person to interfered with them, cut down their boughs or patched up the cracks as their roots swell through the pavement, then the road would soon become the garden and the houses and the streets, and eventually there would be nothing but garden. Wild, untethered and free.