Salutations, dear pond readers, welcome to the sequel to my last blog post about gardening my way to mental resilience. I did successfully assemble my garden bed kit, fill it with a mix of dirt, cardboard, compost, mulch, and I planted it with seeds. Unlike the gardens of my childhood when I helped my parents plant seeds & seedlings in neat rows within garden bins, I was inspired to do something different when I read about chaos gardening. The idea of using a mix of seeds randomly sown all together appeals to my inner chaotic good druid as well as my lack of time to actually cultivate seeds in neat rows.
In the days since my last post about gardening, the USA has seen an incredible amount of pain. Ahmaud Marquez Arbery. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. There are a lot more names to mourn. The gassing of protestors for a presidential photo-op to use the Bible as a blasphemous prop. It is also still a pandemic. There are many names of people dead before their time, this inspiring young scientist, Ms. Lynika Strozier, struck a particular cord with me today; it makes my heart hurt to ponder them. The US COVID-19 death toll on my last blog publication date of 5/19/2020 was 91,000 people and this has risen by more than 29,000 to today when the US has lost a total of 120,402 souls. On a personal level, May ended with a loss in my family albeit one due to old age rather than the virus. My heart hurts all the same.
Pain and loss can be the galvanizing force to build a more just world for all and it is the time to cultivate that world together. Watching this chaos garden grow, seeing new life emerge from layers of dirt and compost, has helped. During this time of trial I have found great comfort in my denomination of Christianity, the Episcopal Church, its resources for racial reconciliation, and I just signed up for their Good News Gardens ministry. Participating in Black Lives Matter protests is not wise during the COVID-19 pandemic but there is more than one way to help build an anti-racist society. Registering for an absentee ballot is pretty easy to do with the help of this website, Vote.org; I was able to do it in less than five minutes. I’ve been working on my Engaging Books project and I have high hopes to post some more reviews discussing both Parable of the Sower & Kindred by Octavia Butler and the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass this summer. Watching films by diverse directors has been a meaningful exercise that my better half & I have enjoyed. I’m also hopeful that I will post about those experiences soon. While working from home part-time & slowly making masks, I have also enjoyed listening to more ologies by Alie Ward and exploring the awesome videos created by Raven the Science Maven.
Today, I got to see one of the native wildflowers I planted this spring bloom. So many things went wrong when I planted these flowers. Several of the plants appear to have since died and my weeding efforts seem paltry compared to the efficiency of the weeds. I have been checking on these plants every day like a little kid. Watching the seedling grow, the bud form, grow more, and bloom today on this Brown-eyed Susan plant has been a joy.
With effort, good things can grow. What have you been cultivating, dear pond readers? Please, stay well, wear a mask, and wash your hands; we’ll get through this together with some creativity & kindness. Thanks for stopping by the pond today, please leave a comment below.