While I try to live according the the Principle of Acceptance, one of my regrets, in moving to this beautiful part of Wales, was that, amidst the abundance of wildlife we have here, there are no rabbits.
Now, I know that to farmers and purists rabbits are a pest, but I like them, perhaps because of my childhood fondness for The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Watership Down. They are abundant in nearby places but the shadow of myxomatosis has lingered here, many burrows being toxic still many years after the main outbreak. I saw a couple soon after our arrival, but they were clearly very ill.
So, my attempts to grow vegetables have been impeded by slugs and weather but never rabbits - until now! Having learned a lot about gardening through mistakes and experimentation, I determined that this year was going to be THE year when I would put heart and soul into applying my garden learnings, to work with the land to benefit us all. I composted and mulched and studied permaculture over-winter, sowed many seeds in the greenhouse and yesterday, with the help of Kevin my wonderful wildlife gardener, began the satisfying task of planting out seedlings in the kitchen garden and also among plants and flowers randomly so that each will help the other.
As I sipped tea this morning, watching the garden as I usually do, I was amazed and thrilled to see a plump, healthy and very agile rabbit bound into the kitchen garden and run around. He must have seen my movement and ran away, disappearing under the wildlife barn where I suspect he has made a burrow in the hedgehog cellar, and probably with a friend or two. I called to my husband to pass on the good news, who gently reminded me that rabbits love to eat young vegetable plants, just like mine.
After a pause for thought, for this had not occurred to me, I laughed at the irony of the situation. It looks as if I may have creatures I love in my environment, at last, but they have arrived just as I embark on a focused gardening project which is unconfined and so largely impossible to protect from the rabbits. I still hear the chuckling of Spirit as I write, for of course, this was no coincidence.
I have no alternative but to let nature take its course, which may be the intent behind the timing of what has happened. It is all a gift in the end and, while I laugh, I am also grateful for this abundance, in every sense.