To-do lists and garden bon bons

If I unscrolled my garden “to-do list,” I am certain it would roll out my front door and down my street.  In any garden—especially a school garden as ambitious as ours—there is simply a massive amount of things to do.

Last week, I received two little gifts (I call them “bon bons”) in the midst of all the garden work.  One is that I took my son’s kindergarten on a sensory tour of the garden.  No fancy lesson plan or exciting activity—I simply asked the kids to quietly walk through the garden. Then I asked them to name something they “saw, smelled or heard” that was 1)new, 2)beautiful or 3) interesting.  The kids were coming out of their skin in excitement as we took time out for sheer discovery.  I came back to class, after three rounds of little people, just a little bit exhilirated.

Another story:  On this blog I can check my “site stats.”  Every day I can see how many views I’ve had, what posts folks are reading and even what specific “search engine terms” people typed in that led them to my blog.  Readers, apparently, have found me by googling “mosaic art” and “photography and placemaking” and of course “school gardens.”

Last week I saw that someone arrived at my blog because he/she typed in the phrase:

“positive things that happen to people going to school.”

Bon bon.

I am reminded that the cure for feeling overwhelmed by– many things really— is often immersing yourself in the reasons you are doing all the little tasks in the first place. Remembering the vision at the core of your work, you then let that joy propel you into the next day and the next task.

First grade's sunflowers from last season, growing in a space that was formerly overlooked and neglected (photo courtesy of Marisa McFedries)