Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Words From the Garden: Week 1

Its difficult to describe my initial feelings for my summer assignment as gardening assistant. I didn't know how to feel about it: being outside was a pro, but my thumb is anything but green. If I could assign a color to it, I think its something close to the color of rot. Imagine that brown oozing hue that overtakes an apple after someone bites it and then forgets to finish it. Got it? Now you have a color with which to rate my gardening abilities.

I walked in on the first day, ready for work but fairly confident that every single plant would meet its end in my hands. And then the kids came.

Our first group walked in and for the first five minutes I was too preoccupied calming the mingled cries of 'DIRT!' 'GROSS!' BUGS!' and 'WHAT IS THAT!?' to actually think about how poor a guide I was. I found myself down in the dirt with them, ripping up grass to reveal all the creatures that lived under. Slowly but surely, we got over our fears of bugs and planting. We gardened.

As the kids became more comfortable in the garden, so did I. The first week, I lived day-to-day off their energy and realized that my joy in the garden was measured by theirs.

We had several kids come in on their second day already with self-assigned jobs:
'I'll water!'
'I'll weed!'
'I'm looking for bugs!'
We had to settle down the excitement in order to teach our lessons and quickly learned that It was a good idea to kick off each session with a game, so as to exhaust any excess energy. I found myself running in every day after the first, heart-pumping, and squealing to Katie (the gardener), 'What are we doing today?!' I could hardly contain my readiness to learn, a trait taught directly from our little Common Threaders themselves.

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