Journey by Paint Brush
When was the last time you allowed yourself to go on a ride with no idea of where you were going? I went on one such exhilarating journey last weekend. My mode of transport was a £6.89 paintbrush from our local DIY shop. It took me miles away, circling the globe and yet I never left the house.
An early Saturday morning start to what was going to be a warm and balmy autumn weekend — one of those that you never want to end because you know you are hovering on the precipice of winter’s chill. Earlier in the week, we started construction on a garden update. The laying of the pavers had been delayed because of rainy weather. As a result the contractors had only just been able to complete the pavers but ran out of time to paint the fence walls black before they left on Friday evening. When the garden designer came to plant on Saturday morning, she took one look at the unpainted fences and said, “Right, before I plant I’m going to paint. The last thing I want is for anyone to come back in and trample my new plants.”
And before I knew it, I offered to help. Quickly dismissing my perennial ‘to do’ list, I had an intuition that it was going to be awhile before the weather would be this glorious again. Feeding my anxiety and that artificial sense of progress one gets from crossing things off a list was definitely an inferior way to spend the day. Sally, the garden designer, started on one fence. She handed me a paint brush and off I went to the other fence. We chatted, we painted and then she planted and I painted. Feeling the garden come together as the black fence enclosed around us was both comforting and satisfying. As I spread the the thick, gooey black paint across the slats, I was getting high on taking an active part in the garden’s transformation. I quickly became addicted. And as I came to the end of the fence, I wanted more surface to paint. I turned to Sally and said, “I could carry on and paint the garden sheds, couldn’t I?” Unflappable, she calmly turned to me and said, “You could.”
One day in the garden with my paintbrush turned into two glorious days outside. And on that first night after it turned dark and Sally bid me goodbye until the following morning, I couldn’t stop painting. So I went inside and started to paint the terracotta pots of my houseplants white. And when spring comes around, I am looking forward to going out and painting the exterior pots black. With transformation on my mind, I will never underestimate the therapeutic value of a £6.89 paintbrush.
Have a look here to see what my garden looked like before I got that paintbrush out.