And as the celebrated birthdayee, here’s my wish: help me turn an abandoned lot into a community garden.
I’ve been working with an amazing group of people here in my neighborhood (I almost wrote “my new neighborhood” but I guess it’s not quite so new any longer) and we’ve done a lot in just a couple of months. We’re now an officially sanctioned garden(!!)… but only on a trial basis to start.
By 1 April 2012, we need to be able to demonstrate to the city that we’re established on this site — that means we need to have seedlings growing, some structures built, weeds cleared out, et cetera — and to do that, we need time, energy, and money. We’re already got the first two, so what we need now is the final element.
Before this past August, I’d never really been a part of a community before (not intentionally like this, at least) and while it’s been many things that I did expect — a lot of fun and a lot hard work, mainly — I didn’t know how humbling the experience would be.
There are times when I’m in one of these gardening committee meetings, at a long table where everyone is a stranger to me and usually to each other, and I look around and realize I am dumbstruck by the notion that everyone in this room wants to work together to make this garden happen.
The neighbor who picked up a flier in the local library is offering his house as a meeting place. The two guys from the nearby design studio designed some incredible looking benches. The people from BK Permaculture brought in a plan for a greenhouse-henhouse combination. And this feeling that I don’t think I can accurately describe wells up and washes over me. A feeling of being small — of being a small piece in a larger whole — combined with humility and awe and gratitude.
So… today’s my birthday and I’m going to ask you to consider donating to my neighborhood’s community garden. Ten bucks, five bucks, a dollar… it all helps (and it’s all tax-deductible, if that’s your thing).
And if you do make a donation, please feel free to let me know because I would love to thank you personally for it. I might even tell you how old I actually am. Okay, probably not, but still.