When Alchemy calls me in 2020, I'll be in Somalia working with a group of people who came through my community college classroom as refugees from Somalia and a new group of students from around the world just getting started. The former will have become nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers, and anything else they wanted to be. We will be building a new school for a rural community.
Posted on March 8, 2010 at 6:06am
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After lunch I survey the plants I have laid aside. I dig and haul aged compost and manure to the bed, cultivating and raking it. I replant the herbs I've salvaged from the grass and weeds, laying out the pattern of the garden with them. These are the tough plants that can hold a line, defend a border from encroaching grass. They are also the invaders if they turn inward, so they must be constrained with barriers, brick and stone and plastic.
I think about how I move through the garden. Where do I need a stepping stone? I think about the sun. What grows tall and will shade it's northern neighbors? I think about my neighbors. What will the birds and bees and butterflies like? They give my garden motion and sound. What will be green or red or interesting or useful all winter when the annuals fade? Slowly the pattern emerges. The rosemary anchors the center. I mark out spaces where this herb and that vegetable will go. A tomato here with basil around its feet. The permanent asparagus bed here with a border of marigolds. This part is annual, that is perennial. Some spaces will change with the season and the year and experimental whim. Some will be permanent anchors, giving continuity and form.
At the end of the day a skeleton has taken form in space and imagination. The patterns have started to coalesce. Much depends on what I have and what I can find. Tomorrow the evolution will continue.