~ Many Hands Make the Load Lighter ~ A Haitian Proverb
For weeks Joyce and kids having been dutifully tending to the small rocky weedy patch of open soil behind our house willing their seeds of tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and peas to grow. Most days the time they spend on it involves pulling weeks, “transplanting” weeds from one spot to another, hacking down old banana leaves, and watering the already moist ground. Things that to the naked eye seem like a waist of effort, to them however it is a thing of pride, a plot of land they call their own, and relish in every seedling that pushes through the soil, every new leaf that buds on the trees, and every blossom that opens, most likely never to reach maturity of fruit (before someone accidently drops a bucket on it, or runs over it, or thinks its week and pulls it out), but they don’t give up, they continue to keep nurturing.
Joyce has been building a blueprint in her mind of a real garden and how to teach them that their labor can bear fruit. So this Saturday she began to put it into effect, a trial phase. With John’s help and skillful maneuvering of the bobcat within 10 minutes we had a Landcruiser pickup bed full of rich black soil and hefty rocks from the Fort Jacques property. There is no comparison between our sandy, rocky, clayey, dry soil, and that of Fort Jacques that is filled with nutrients and minerals! Melissa, Joyce, and I arrived back at the Toddler House with the goods and 3 hours left of sunlight, and thinking that there was no way we’d get it done in the time we had. But with the eager help of many pairs of little hands we set to work.
The kids cleared weeds, piled the rocks, raked the surface area, talked, and speculated prepping for what was to come. Leika declared everything literally everything “beautiful” in English her with thick Creole accent. She flitted from one thing to the next making sure that no one felt discouraged or in any way like their task was less important than another. Rilinxe worked hard and carried rock for the raised bed wall, and Edelyne, Dieudonne, and Jean Marie tried hard to fit pieces together and make them stay. Melissa, Joyce, Eunise, Kerby, and Yvenson worked with the already packed rich heavy soil carrying it down a flight of stairs and out to the back, tedious work, but pressed through and accomplished. Yvenson felt that though he was not called upon to help he being almost 4 years old should definitely get a job, and that he did! He carried pebbles, pulled out weeds (and a tomato plant) and even scooted a cup of soil down the stairs and out to the garden. As the sun began to dip behind the mountains and we lost our last rays of daylight the truck was finally empty. Well satisfied the kids selected what flowers to transplant into the new beds, patting the roots in tight and noting the light drops or rain in the clouded sky. Only a few buckets short of soil we will finish another day. None-the-less quite sure that they will be encouraged by not only what they have made but how well they worked together to accomplish it.
Posted on Sat, April 9, 2011