This week, I went out and was able to work on the school garden briefly. I was mostly weeding and pulling Japanese Beetles off plants, but I also got the opportunity to clean and braid garlic. It was an interesting experience, because last year I was part of the class that helped to plant the garlic that I was now braiding. When it first starts out, you just take a single clove and leave it in the ground. You let nature provide it with the necessary nutrients and materials needed to flourish and grow, and then you revisit it in the summer.
I think there can be a large parallel drawn between letting plants grow and learning. You can only provide the material, but you can’t learn for someone else. You just have to hope that they will be able to recognize the opportunities they have and use them so that they can flourish and grow.
Mahin and Evana led a Junior Ranger Program this week that operated on a similar principle. You can lead them off into the woods, and try and teach them about the park and its principles, but it’s up to the kids themselves to decide whether or not they want to absorb the knowledge. Hopefully, they do, and you can try and present it in an engaging manner so that they will want to absorb, but it’s up to each person whether or not they want to grow and learn.Ultimately, we are all little cloves of garlic, waiting for our own opportunities to grow and learn. We just have to recognize when those opportunities are presented to us, and act accordingly