We’re still learning how to define a) community and b) garden.
We had another translation session for our so-called community garden on Monday. A sweet friend from work came home with us and the team in town, with hopes of re-explaining the garden, handing off a key to the gate, and communally enjoying an afternoon of weeding to prepare the soil for the plants that are growing oh-so-quickly and will very soon need to be transferred.
We think the translation went okay. It’s always hard to say, really.
But, we gave them a key–so they can get into the garden or store any valuable items (including themselves) locked inside for safety. We also attempted the “let’s garden together now” idea, but it was a flop. She suggested the next day, when we were busy at work.
We came home to find the garden unchanged, and decided to go for a run. We returned to find one man inside our yard, completely conquering the weeds. This jungle grew up on us in about a month, and we spent the following two months painfully attempting to eliminate the mess of weeds, thorns, ivy, ants, mice, frogs, and lizards that had taken over. And this one man was doing about a weeks worth of work for Stephen & I.
In Stephen’s words, “How long were we gone?”
One of the things we’ve discussed with this garden idea is that it’s very difficult to make plans, i.e. “Let’s work together every Saturday” or “Let’s meet at 8 am tomorrow”. We decided from the beginning that it would take flexibility, so that when opportunities arose to garden with them or play with the kids or help in someway–we take it.
So we did. Well, mostly Stephen in this case.
The next hour continued the subjugation of our yard. And it was divided into two categories: eat or not eat? This was communicated through motions that I wish so badly I could have Stephen imitate for you over a blog. Hilarious.
The things that remain: a papaya tree, a mango tree, about three bushes used for some kind of soup that we have no idea about.
The best part, I think, was the large tree on the side of the yard. The man promptly motioned to Stephen that you can’t eat it, went to get an old and broken machete, and took it out. The whole tree. I mean, why would you keep it if you can eat it?!
So our yard now looks like this. And we’re finding community to be any number of persons, at any age attempting to be friends, despite the inability to communicate at all. And we’re finding that a garden is simply things you can eat–nothing more, nothing less.