I have so many, what I call, “pieces of my life puzzle” that I have to manage when my schedule is normal. Things are quite alarming right now. My schedule is in a whirlwind and I am doing my best to cope with this “new normal”. As I handle all of the pieces, my family, career, and concerns for my students, I can get an overwhelming feeling. If I do not take time, meditating and receiving guidance from God, life can get the best of me. By connecting to God, the answer slow down comes. Get balance. Do something therapeutic and learn to breath. Yes, I am an artist and teach a subject area that is therapy, for myself, as well as my students. I feel that it is a very important part of the curriculum for that, among many reasons. Being an artist (trying to stay on top of my game), teaching art, creating lessons, creating art for remote learning lessons, making videos, editing videos, attending to online meetings, trying my best to be an effective teacher in a new way, and consumed with learning new technology can be, to say the least, consuming. I know I have to get back to a natural state, be with nature, and do something to break up the daily grind.
An answer to all this insanity and stress is that I must do something different. I got this crazy little notion to dig into some dirt and grow... something. Okay, I’ll start small. I have already taken the tiny step in growing some tomato and herb plants, along with a blueberry bush. Growing a garden is a definite reaction to this subject of food (written in my last journal entry). I love the idea of having some type of empowerment when it comes to self-sustaining food sources. Last entry I also wrote about having “grit” in troubling times. Finding that balance can assist in knowing how to persevere and not get burned out.
I live in a town-home and can only grow produce in pots. I know I have so much to learn. Therefore, as the novice gardener, I must research and learn how to hone skills in this new interest of the horticultural arts. While researching, I came across an article about Ron Finley, aka the Gangsta’ Gardner. I was amazed with his story. He has taken the initiative to grow gardens in abandoned lots of land in South Central L.A. He has cultivated these derelict patches of land into botanical masterpieces. Poverty is a problem in many of these areas. Concerns with health issues in impoverished areas, all around the world, are due to lack of nutrition. His TED Talk attached to the article is awesome and so inspiring! I highly recommend it for anyone to watch. He explains how gardening can be empowering. He even talks about seeing gardening as an art form. I now see dirt as a blank canvas! I now want to garden and make that part of my lifestyle. I am also inspired to share that experience with my students.
His philosophy resonates with me in so many ways. The ability to live and eat healthy should be a right and not a privilege. Lack of nutrition is an underlining thread that connects many high-risk health conditions. It has been a factor in so many of the casualties from Covid 19. I feel a need to do more to eat and live as healthy as I can. I might even grow a garden with my students when we return.
The definition of the word “GRIT” coming together. .