April 20, 2012

africa. gardening. joy.

today i sat under a tree in the shade of my neighbor's home on a little stool while we filled cardboard egg cartons with soil and sorted seeds into them for the keyhole garden.  it was one of those moments that i felt my soul very present.  everyone was full of joy, chatting in twi and giggling with pure-hearted radiance.  each person was doing something to participate, learn and help.  we ripped open the bag of soil that was collected by some of the jr. youth in a nearby neighborhood and sprinkled it into the egg-hole cups.  i enjoyed picking out parts of black, plastic bags from a big bag of soil.  children came and gathered around.  chickens roamed and the air was warm.  one person wrote down what seeds were in what carton and in what order by row; others found nails to secure the paper onto the carton.  i went and bought a tomato, poked into it to collect seeds and they squirted out onto my skirt.  i loved being messy and not caring..

we worked together for about an hour before walking across the dirt road to the other neighbor's yard to mix manure, chicken fertilizer and soil together and spread it throughout the garden.  the boys went to ask my gardener for more tools so they could be more productive.  i tied more twine around the inner circle for compost to secure it better.  i tucked in small rocks into the wall to prevent erosion of the soil when the heavy rains come (and they do come!).

when we were nearly finished, Ayana called on my cell, explaining that she was waiting outside our home with our driver -- time passed by so quickly that i didn't realize i was late for her coming home from school.  i become so absorbed in the work of gardening that time passes by quickly without me realizing it.  gardening in ghana, with my neighbors and the kids, surpasses any gardening experience on my own in America.  we are building a community garden.  we are growing food.  it is their garden.  this is what brings me joy. :)

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