Planting for Mike

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sow your seeds where no one knows, give a little hope where wild things grow.....

I know little about flowers and even less about planting but with rebellious curiosity I began searching for a spot where I could do some guerrilla gardening. I had no intentions of jumping my neighbours fence or waiting on darkness for disguise but I did want to sow seeds near to home, close enough for me to return often and nourish my newly rooted friend. I figured it wasn't enough to just plant and go, but for something to flourish it would require encouragement, attention and time.

For the skills I lack in gardening I make up for in sentiment. I have always been fascinated by the powers of symbolic language and recently began to appreciate the vast uses of essential oils. Flowers have forever been associated with healing, from the ancient greeks to Tibet. Their scents promote wellbeing and are used to make perfume and traditional medicine and aromatherapy. Sunflowers are my favorite, with their simple analogy and beauty. Constantly rotating to face the sun, they are patient and deeply rooted allowing them to receive intense nourishment. Once big and strong they generously share their wealth and positivity with other species. When it is dark they bow their heads and rest, shutting out the darkness of the night. After enquiring about the best guerrilla locations with a colleague I was further intrigued to learn that they can absorb radioactivity and are the symbol for nuclear disarmament. Although eternally positive flowers I was in need of more and so I searched for the perfect remedy that would armour me with hope, something I desperately craved this week.

My brothers friend who is battling against Leukaemia has recently flown to America to receive CAR T- Cell Therapy, a breakthrough trial treatment currently unavailable in the UK! Faced with the impossibility of needing at least 400,000 pounds to be in with any chance of saving Mikes life, his wife set up a ground breaking Gofundme page that has currently reached a staggering £451,933 and continues to climb! The utter belief, determination and passion that Mike, Kate and his family share is inspiring beyond words, not to mention the support from complete strangers who have used this story to display humanities most beautiful abilities - to be kind, empathise and to love.

Challenged further with worrying news this week I found comfort in the calming influence of Iris root oil Essence. Extracted from the blue Iris flower I realised this was the one I wished to plant. Derived from Ancient Greek times Iris takes its name from the greek word for rainbow, also the name of the greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. During the Middle Ages the meaning of the flower became linked to the french monarchy, making the flour-de-lis the recognized national symbol of France. A blue Iris is still today believed to portray wisdom and courage and can convey deep sentiments such as Faith, Hope and Admiration. In modern times it signifies quite simply 'Good News'.

Having carried the bulbs in my bag for over a week the idyllic moment to plant came along with a spontaneous visit from my brother. Tools at the ready we set off along with Loic and my parents to find the perfect spot for gardening. We took a road a little less travelled, hoping to stumble across something of tragic beauty. The aftermath of last nights party session or drifter spot found glass bottles and charred patches of grass on a derelict area of the park. The section was out of control, like it had somehow lost its way and was begging for a little TLC. The physicality of raking, digging and planting was so satisfying. I found the experience therapeutic with repetitive actions and smells nostalgic to watching mum garden as a child. They say your stronger in numbers and with two of my favourite people in the whole wide world doing this humble task with me I believed this to be true. I think we were all aware that a few shared personal hopes and wishes filtered through our pitchforks that day.

I have returned to the spot on a couple of occasions to water my bulbs and track their progress. Nothing has grown just yet but I continue to water my patch in vain, with full belief and honest excitement for their prosperity and the 'good news' that is to come.

Sarah-Kate Goodwin

A Great Wake Up Champion!. A Chronically indecisive worrier. A Painfully forgetful dreamer. A self deprecating over thinker and a rather untidy perfectionist, but with all the luck of The Irish and A Champion all the same!


Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 5 years ago
what a lovely blog- go Mike and his family x
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
over 5 years ago
Really enjoyed your blog. Thank you