The Ambler

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The Chelsea Flower Show and the Journey of Life

Coquet Churches Together

The Chelsea Flower Show and the Journey of Life

One of the (very few) things I miss about no longer living in London is the annual trip to Chelsea Flower Show. The colours, the scents, the overwhelming displays, meeting all sorts of different people. So this year I watched the TV programme on Gold Medal day presented by Alan Titchmarsh, and enjoyed the special views of big gardens and small, displays of flowers, vegetables, herbs, and exotic plants. They didn’t seem to get round to Gateshead Council’s wonderful Great Northern Run garden, which was a pity.

But I was very taken with the visit to the garden that was Best in Show, the Daily Telegraph garden, and to hear its designer talking about his intentions. He said it was meant to be a metaphor for the journey of life, that from the very beginning – the entrance to the garden – we make choices, and the choices could always have been different. In the middle, there were vertical shapes, solid from end on, but open to view from the side. These, he said, gave us a glimpse of the path we hadn’t taken, of what it would be like on the other side.

Sometimes it does feel as though we get a glimpse of what life might have been like if we had taken a different road. Quite often we’re glad we didn’t, relieved that there is some burden we weren’t asked to carry, some situation we never had to face. But occasionally, there is a bit of feeling of “if only” about it. If only I had joined the Dance Group at School rather than the Natural History Society, I might have learnt to dance and that might have made all the difference. Well, it might not. “If only” is a useless thing to think. We make the best of what we have, and sometimes we are very happy to do that.

Revd Wendy Aird, Priest in Charge, St John the Divine, Chevington

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