Lessons from the Garden: Community
Our BZen Garden, or the Trap Garden as I like to call it, continually teaches me lessons. I never expected to gain so much from an activity, hobby, or this space. What is especially wonderful about this is I am continually learning and growing each year we plant another summer crop. I can’t imagine what may come up for me when we plant our first Winter garden!
This Spring, we sowed many different types of vegetable/fruit seeds. The seedlings were absolutely adorable, sprouting and growing in the bathtub of our master bedroom. We were so excited to get them in the fertile dirt of our garden. Starts from a local nursery and farmers at the Saturday Market made up for the lack of what we wanted to plant. When we were purchasing our starts at the Saturday Market, I realized something. There was a strong sense of community, and it made me appreciate the Market even more.
We decided to plant our garden on May 18th, and we wanted to make this day into an opportunity to gather some of our friends. Not only was this an incredible opportunity for assistance, but also for connection with loved ones. We sent the invite out to a handful of people, and our great friends Kate and Kyndal were able to join us for a very special garden day.
Although we had some activities planned (planting, painting garden gnomes, eating, etc.) the day didn’t go exactly as expected. As soon as we headed into the garden to get started, some massive storm clouds started to roll in unexpectedly. We started planting the tomatoes and buckets of rain started to pour as bolts of lightning cracked loudly all around us. The planting had to come to a halt. Safety third!
We enjoyed some snacks and had plenty of laughs regarding the quick turn in the weather. I rescued our neighbors dog, who wandered from his home seeking refuge from the storm. The gnome painting had began and the whole time we all were giggling, telling stories and catching up, truly enjoying each other’s company. At last, the small but mighty storm had broke and patches of blue sky returned, so we got back to the garden planting.
Spacing of the plants, placement, and techniques were discussed in the garden. We all got our hands in the dirt. Before long, all the flowers & vegetables had been planted and we shared high fives and hugs. For the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening we collectively worked on painting my Grandmother’s garden gnomes. All in all, we had an amazing day!
As I reflected on the time spent in this group, working through the storm to accomplish our goals, I recognized something. Without our friends, our community, we would not have accomplished everything we had. Our community gave us their time, energy, effort, and support through a hectic and adventurous day in the garden. Our community was there for us through the storm to keep us moving towards our goals, to help us persevere, and made our time spent joyful and fun. In terms of community, how much more metaphorical could this garden experience be?!
I read this article about Dr. David McMillan’s Sense of Community Theory and realized that our garden experience with our friends hit the mark. We all felt welcomed, trusted one another, brought value, and shared an emotional bond with one another. Our community that day, albeit small, was strong. We connected, drew inspiration, supported each other, and shared our resources with one another to cultivate a memorable day. The value that I place on our community is immense, and I cant help but feel thankful that I learned this value’s importance through my time spent in the BZen Garden.
So tell me, do you feel a strong sense of community in your life? How did you come to feel this way? Maybe it is through your work, friend circle, extracurricular activities, or within your town in general. Please, drop a comment and let us know.
Until next time, friends.