My favourite place to be is not sitting under a tree, but trees are there.

My garden is where I feel most content outside of my family tent, this is where much of my spare time is spent.

I look forward to the solitude it provides as it reminds me of who I really am and what I should never have been.

I can reflect on things loved, lost, and won and all the other things in between.

I am at peace with myself, it’s necessary nourishment for my overall health.

My physical and mental states are both fed well through the hard work I do inside this quiet space I crave to be in all throughout my working week.

The only time I take a rest is to speak to passers-by that care to share the time of day, I’m polite that way.

The conversations never last long because most old people easily get tired after they’ve said all they want to say.

They mostly consist of a greeting usually followed by a compliment on how neat my garden looks and how it’s a product of my hard work.

I thank them and modestly reply that a garden requires a lot of hard work to keep it looking as it should, and I’ve always tried to meet that demand as best as I could.

I’m never quite sure if what I say is fully understood as my Japanese is terrible and often the English level of the people I speak to isn’t very good.

But we smile and we wish each other good health and usually with a lingering look at my garden the old people carry on with their walk of the day.

I pick up my tools and before commencing my work I briefly look around before returning to my much loved time of solitude.

I continue listening to the sounds from the ground and those high up in the sky that amplify the noises I make with my shears, spade and rake.

A poem by Stephen Austwick.