Friday afternoon a splendid thing happens! Second graders learn to plant flowers to make their park sing with color. I can't believe I have been volunteering at this garden bed for 18 years already. It is such a magical place, our park, full of oaks, stone buildings, willows, and laughter. I grew up fishing and catching turtles there, hopping little sweet grass bogs like stepping stones to get close to the cranes who always seemed to tolerate me. I loved the way the breeze would stir just when the sun would get too warm and you could lay under one of the willows and read all day and no one would even see you under its protective sway. Tomorrow and Saturday will be full of joy and too busy to come visit here until Saturday night or Sunday, as Saturday I am going to be taken out to lunch by two dear friends, one who is always there for me and another soul sister who asked me to collaborate again with her on a gorgeous piece of art. Friday is one of those wondrous days beginning with my 10 year old daughter's poetry classroom Coffee House experience, my nine year old's school picnic for lunch, then, down to the park to lead the little dearies in, for some, their first digging and planting experience. I show them how to dig the plant's new little home, tap out the plant from its old, temporary, home, cradling the plant as it falls upside down, reborn, into their tiny little fingers. Then, they put the little flower in all by themselves and "hug" the dirt around the base of the stem so they feel welcome in their new environment.
They follow me with joy watching as I first teach them. It is as though I hold a colorful little thread and each boy and girl picks up his or her own end and becomes part of the fabric of this park, this town. It is humbling to watch such sweet divinity scrambling around me with their trowels and dirty little shoes. They are our future and each year, they give me such joy.
I hope I can always show them different threads and that they will choose ends that lead to bliss.