Backyard potter's tales
Written and illustrated by Tiit Kändler
The incomparable thicket
Today, on the morning of May 30th, the yard has sudden sunken into reflections. Maybe the yard too had realised that the terrible heat followed by biting cold was not a dignified way of behaving. The Potterer thereupon went out into the yard. Over a long time bird song was heard again, and lo and behold – a nightingale, clapping somewhere in the bird-cherry thicket growing on the banks of Treppioja.
Thicket, ”võsa”, has somehow changed into something bad and nasty in Estonian, a synonym of slovenliness and lack of care. But a thicket is necessary for a yard, quite as a hood or a loose coat where one’s head can be hidden and protected is for a human. Things happen in the thicket, not out in the open!
In the thicket birds live and animals move. One’s plans and dreams can be carried into the thicket. And coming out from it they can be neatly implemented or forgotten.
In Estonian parks a fierce battle against thickets has lately taken place. No wonder then that birdsong is heard ever less in cities.In contrast for instance in Brussels however, there is a small park at every little distance, large ones too of course, but the small ones are particularly impressive. Usually enclosed by a steel netting fence and locked up for night. But such a small park has a miraculous effect. Here you can at once feel separated from the city traffic, lie down on the lawn or sit on a bench of which there are enough, both in shade and in the sun. A great number of shrubs, nicely preserved, help.
Even the botanical garden of Brussels which is about the size of the Tartu botanical garden and pressed in side by side with a major highway, lower than that, and even cut through by a smaller motor road, and surrounded by high-rise buildings, is as a gift by nature here in the restlessness of a great city. All thanks to the thicket. In Hamburg there is the same kind of garden. Directly in the city centre.
Birds sing and people rest. In the middle of the day, and during, and side by side with, peak traffic.
So a thicket actually lifts the spirits. But a field invaded by a thicket needs not mean anything else but a future tall-growing forest.
The Potterer is happy that by his reflections he has managed to add something to his "Õueonu päevaraamat – Potterer’s Diary“ that the yard enthusiasts may find in the Apollo and Rahva Raamat book stores. Somewhere, in the book thicket.