by Richard S. Kordesh
Lussica, our four-year-old guest from Beijing, China, had planted seeds before with her grandparents back home. So she took to our sowing task easily, helping me put in rows of radishes in one of our backyard beds. We would pause along the way for her observations about the panicky bugs that ran for cover as we turned the soil.
Lussica and her mother Chris, who was studying for her LL.M. degree at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, had been staying with us for some months. Today, they flew to California, where Chris will work as an intern in a firm that also manages offices in Beijing.
This afternoon, the radish shoots are visible above the black dirt, casting a vibrant, green contrast with the soil. Even though Lussica is now gone from our house, she is, in spirit, still growing in our garden in the presence of these tiny vegetables. She and Chris did leave something nourishing behind.
Gardening with children creates this effect: They stay present in the space that they helped to cultivate because they experience the place so intently. One at a time, Lussica and I inserted each seed in its spot just a quarter inch or so beneath the surface. Each seed’s placement mattered. Every bug drew curious attention. And so will each radish be appreciated when it’s time to harvest.
It’s good for children to learn this natural way that they can make the places where they live, or which they visit, vibrant and renewed.
Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years.
|More about Richard S. Kordesh|