Spring inspires growth

Some people like to look at the turning of a new year as a fresh start. Resolutions are made, plans sketched out for the coming year, whatever it may be. For me, spring is the beginning of “a new year.” This season is all about rebirth and seems to me a much more fitting time to make plans for the near future as everything around is waking up and just bursting with possibility.

The seedlings are beginning to emerge from our carefully planted trays, the first stalks of asparagus are peeking their heads above the soil, the daffodils are lighting up the borders of walkways and garden beds with their sunny little faces. And the kids, well the kids -and myself- seem to have a lighter, airier countenance about ourselves.
Do you?

The thing about resolutions, renewal, let’s face it, change, is that it’s not easy, right? If it were, we would all be exactly who we want to be by just making little corrections to whatever it is we identify as needing an adjustment. The problem is, old habits and thoughts die hard. In a past post, I proudly told the tale of Donovan, who “conquered” his fear of worms when we began our worm composting adventure in February.

A day or two ago, we were in the garden and I had an assembly line of sorts set up. I had one student raking out the most recent additions to the top of the compost pile, another student shoveling out the half finished compost from beneath and loading it on to our giant sifter, and lastly, I asked Donovan to be the sifter, brushing the organic matter back and forth over the hardware cloth, allowing the finished compost to fall between the squares into a wheelbarrow.

When I described to Donovan what I expected of him, he got an anxious look on his face, crinkled his nose and immediately¬† said, “But I’m afraid of worms.” “What?” I asked with incredulity. “Don’t you remember how you conquered that fear working with the worms in the greenhouse?” “It didn’t take.” He responded without missing a beat.

After a few minutes, a bit of encouragement and a pair of gloves, Donovan shimmied up to the sifter and did his thing. Although it would be great if we could swiftly overcome fears or habits, the reality is change takes time, and practice. Donovan and I will more likely have similar exchanges here and there in the weeks and months to come, rather than simply checking “worm phobia” off his proverbial list. And that’s okay. Tipping the scales into the desired balance takes time for all of us. But, if ever there were a motivating time to start bringing things into alignment, I’d say spring is that time.


About Green Chimneys Garden

Green Chimneys was founded on the belief that children will benefit from their interaction with nature and animals. Horticulture comes to life in our educational school gardens, allowing Green Chimneys students to heal, learn, and grow. Learn more about about our nature-based approach to special education by visiting www.greenchimneys.org
This entry was posted in Teacher Grows and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spring inspires growth

  1. garden98110 says:

    The ‘skyline’ around Green Chimneys School is different, the fence line and the horizon are the same as 50 years ago (in the picture on the lower right). I remember my fear of horses. I learned a healthy respect for them. In this pasture, I began my practice of overcoming fear. Fifty years later, I am still learning, of course. But riding a horse gave me the courage, later, to climb mountains, too. Then, everything else was easy!

    • Thank you for the affirming inspiration! The pasture that is right next to our garden is getting an update. All the railings have been lowered and sitting areas, made from fallen tree trunks have been placed in the middle in horseshoe shape arrangements. The various “minis” that live at Green Chimneys, like the mini horses, mini donkeys and ponies will occupy this pasture now. The hope is that social workers, therapists and other staff will be able to sit in the pasture with children and interact with the little ones! I can’t wait to watch that from the garden. I remember one time last summer they put the camels in that pasture for a day or two. The first time I looked up from weeding or planting and saw that big face looking at me was amazing! Otherworldly!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s