Ninety Five: Digging in the Dirt

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”  – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Saturday, April 5th

I have been helping the garden coordinator at my daughter’s school plan the “Spring Garden Build” for a good long while. During the planning phases, it all feels like work. Then the event itself rolls around and it starts to feel like play.

It wasn’t as if we were planting a bunch of seedlings and doing all the typically warm fuzzy parts of gardening. We’d be hauling dirt and wood chips, repairing broken cold frames, building a new compost bin, and still, all those things were imbued with the same love. This event draws three types of volunteers – the tireless community builders, the gardeners, and the tireless volunteers who build community by building gardens.

There was something very loving about this event, start to finish, as it showed how much we all loved this little plot of land and the teachings that it gives our kids through their own toils in the soils. My daughter loves her Monday class time spent in the garden, sampling edibles and planting the starts she grew from seed. Sadly, she stayed home after staying home from school sick the day before.

I took on the monster pile of garden refuse and reuseables with another Kindergarten mom. We culled out the pile and found two alligator lizards, one mouse, and a bajillion woodbugs and spiders in the process. Old sacks of cement had hardened into what will become new garden pavers! Shabby lumber was tossed and saved items were stored aloft the leftover pallets. I know how good it feels to finish an organization project at home, and so it was with the piles of old plywood and bamboo poles.

The best part – as it always has been in outdoor volunteer gigs – was the conversation. Conversation rolled all day with this woman who was familiar to me but whom I didn’t know much about. I left feeling like I could easily invite her over to do work in my garden!

When was the last time you volunteered?



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