When I arrived at school, the construction materials were just being delivered. Lumber, screws, soil, trash bins, tools, watering cans...the list goes on and on. Stuff! A lot of it! I stood there, alone with one other teacher, and lots and lots of...stuff...and I wondered, "What in the world have I gotten myself into?" How was this huge pile of...stuff...going to be transformed into...well...anything? Much less a garden!
Soon enough, help began to arrive. It came in all forms. Parents, administrators, husbands, PTO members, friends, teachers...and kids...lots of kids! I watched as they arrived. I saw...no, I felt...their excitement...and suddenly, everything was okay. We didn't really know
We had the kids! We had their hope...their optimism...their energy...their sense of wonder. We had the joy that comes from knowing that they are the reason we are here.
And so it began! Step by step, piece by piece, things began to fall into place. A group of volunteers worked together to create a design for the raised beds. Others ran home to gather more tools and supplies. Still others began the process of transforming that pile of "stuff" into a garden.
We drilled, we pushed. We lifted, we measured. We placed the beds in the perfect spot...and then moved them to a place that was better. We blocked the weeds, we poured the soil. We laughed, we cried...well, not really, but sometimes we wanted to...we built a garden! We built a garden! Or at least, the beginnings of one.
You might be thinking, "So what! It's just a garden! What's the big deal?" Well, okay, I get that...but here's the big deal. This wasn't just any garden. This was a garden born out of the dreams and passions of 2nd and 3rd grade learners who wanted to make a difference. This was a garden that came to be because of the dedication of an inspired educator and the generosity of an amazing PTO. This was a garden that was built because, as Mr. Hilton put it, a "village" came together to make it happen. This garden was the fruition of a dream that began a year ago in the hearts and minds of the learners in the Book Blooms Enrichment Cluster...and culminated with another group of children who came together with parents, educators, friends, and family to make the dream come true!
Remember my question?
How was this huge pile of...stuff...going to be transformed into...well...anything?
I found my answer! Transformation doesn't always come in the form of plans or tools or materials. Those things are important...I get that. But taken alone, those things are just "stuff." The magic happens...the transformation takes place, when you add a little something more. Transformation happens when you add passion...and hope...and dreams. Transformation occurs when "a village comes together to make it happen." Transformation happens when we remember...it's all about the kids!