Time in a Garden

There is so much more than you think there is in one armful of soil. So much more movement, so much more depth. I stared at a patch of soil today because I was asked to. When was the last time you did that? When was the last time someone asked you to?

We didn’t go outside enough in school. It’s a sad thing everyone talks about. I’m becoming a teacher, but in Vancouver. I can’t wait to ask students to put on their galoshes and stare at patches of wet, thriving soil.

I hope to start (or continue!) a school garden in the school where I work. I am this week getting my fingernails dirty in a practicum placement at UBC’s Orchard Garden. I’m realizing things like seeds are so small and salad mix is a real thing. I’m also learning things about time.


(from http://www.theorchardgarden.blogspot.ca)

My sister just had Anya. That is what I will say from now on because my sister didn’t have a baby, she had Anya, and Anya is now here. Anya is my niece. I can’t stop saying her name, letting it out under my breath like witchcraft. We stared at each other for a while the other day, Anya and I, and I can’t believe she will never remember it. I can’t believe there’s a time when you’re too young to realize anything about time.

She knows when it’s time for sleep, and she knows when it’s time to eat. She knows when it’s dark and when it’s light. I assume she knows a lot more than we think. But does she know about time?

Does she know that The Orchard Garden is being relocated for a construction site? Does she know that the polar ice caps are melting? Does she know that every day we age and every day we grow and every day there is someone new and someone gone? Does she know that her being born has marked a moment in time in our lives? There was once a time, and now there is a new one.

I think a lot about time but I stopped this week, when I was in the garden. Instead I thought about life, and how easy it is to forget that time is only there as a byproduct of our living. I only worry about it because I’m here, because I’m thinking. When really, thinking about time takes me away from life. Plants grow because they’re getting somewhere. They use all the energy they have to go for it. They grow and grow, unconscious of what might happen were they to stop. Then time, as seen by the plant itself, stops. Naturally.