Costumed

Two weeks ago, we stared the garden.  In the raised beds we planted cucumbers and four varieties of beans.  We planted popcorn, too, from the crop of a friend.  We tucked tiny seeds—tomatoes and onions and herbs of all sorts—into peat pots and set them in the front window of the house.  And then we waited.

Every morning, when I come downstairs, I check outside to see what’s growing in our little garden.  Have the peas sprouted overnight?  The squash?    Every morning, I see nothing except for the stalwart strawberries—leftovers from last year’s garden.
I take my coffee and check the little rows of peat pots catching the eastern sun slanting through the window.  Nothing there, either.



But then, two days ago, I noticed a tomato sprout at least half an inch tall.  How did it get so big without my noticing?  And again yesterday, I saw another plant stretching two tiny leaves towards the sun.
This morning, I examine my seedlings closely—The warmth and water have awakened the onions, two narrow strips of green unfurling their necks. 

I part the curtain and watch the elementary school kids—dressed in yellows and blues and greens and reds—heading for the bus.   Three tulips have joined the daffodils in my front bed and purple hyacinths encircle the trees in the lawn.  A woodpecker hammers upon a tree. 
Spring costumes herself in the vibrant colors in celebration of the season.

* * *
“Did you read that email from the home school group?” one of my friends asks.

I’d seen it.  But I’d paid it no attention. 

I go back to read it.  The email promotes an upcoming workshop for teenagers.  It promises to teach them how to defend their religion to others.  The leader promises to costume himself in the religions of “the others”—other religions presumably dangerous, presumably wrong.  There were several religions listed as one of the others.  Mine was among them.  But even if it hadn’t been, I would have taken offense.  Because the leader of this group is sowing the seeds of mistrust; setting out hatred like the buds on a tree. 
I delete the email and head outside to check on the garden.  In the background, a symphony of birds sings.  A tiny cucumber unfolds her arms and lays them gingerly against the mound of soil into which she was planted.

This post was linked to Yeah Write.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Costumed

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Costumed

Two weeks ago, we stared the garden.  In the raised beds we planted cucumbers and four varieties of beans.  We planted popcorn, too, from the crop of a friend.  We tucked tiny seeds—tomatoes and onions and herbs of all sorts—into peat pots and set them in the front window of the house.  And then we waited.

Every morning, when I come downstairs, I check outside to see what’s growing in our little garden.  Have the peas sprouted overnight?  The squash?    Every morning, I see nothing except for the stalwart strawberries—leftovers from last year’s garden.
I take my coffee and check the little rows of peat pots catching the eastern sun slanting through the window.  Nothing there, either.



But then, two days ago, I noticed a tomato sprout at least half an inch tall.  How did it get so big without my noticing?  And again yesterday, I saw another plant stretching two tiny leaves towards the sun.
This morning, I examine my seedlings closely—The warmth and water have awakened the onions, two narrow strips of green unfurling their necks. 

I part the curtain and watch the elementary school kids—dressed in yellows and blues and greens and reds—heading for the bus.   Three tulips have joined the daffodils in my front bed and purple hyacinths encircle the trees in the lawn.  A woodpecker hammers upon a tree. 
Spring costumes herself in the vibrant colors in celebration of the season.

* * *
“Did you read that email from the home school group?” one of my friends asks.

I’d seen it.  But I’d paid it no attention. 

I go back to read it.  The email promotes an upcoming workshop for teenagers.  It promises to teach them how to defend their religion to others.  The leader promises to costume himself in the religions of “the others”—other religions presumably dangerous, presumably wrong.  There were several religions listed as one of the others.  Mine was among them.  But even if it hadn’t been, I would have taken offense.  Because the leader of this group is sowing the seeds of mistrust; setting out hatred like the buds on a tree. 
I delete the email and head outside to check on the garden.  In the background, a symphony of birds sings.  A tiny cucumber unfolds her arms and lays them gingerly against the mound of soil into which she was planted.

This post was linked to Yeah Write.

Labels: ,

22 Comments:

At March 25, 2012 at 7:17 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

Thank you for this healthy slice of your day Kelly!

 
At March 26, 2012 at 5:24 AM , Anonymous Comingeast said...

Lovely post, Kelly. Isn't it amazing how quickly things grow once they get started? My hosts are beginning to stand like wooden soldiers, and soon their leaves will be unfurling. And my roses have started to bloom.

I especially liked the way you tied this theme of revealing to that person or group who had that religious message to teach our children. That makes me so angry. We're Episcopalians, considered to be heathens or misguided Christians, by some religious fundamentalists! Anyone who thinks he or she knows the mind of God makes me crazy.

 
At March 26, 2012 at 6:37 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

What an alarm bell this should ring. You can bet this will not be a impartial discussion, and result in an attempt at brainwashing. An exposure to other religions is great. Catagorizing them as "Other" is an editorial comment where it doesn.t belong.

Loved this part

"Because the leader of this group is sowing the seeds of mistrust; setting out hatred like the buds on a tree. "

Then, your transisiton back to commonm sense by deleting the email and checking the garden says it all.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 4:12 AM , Anonymous Sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms said...

I didn't see the unexpected twist coming, and the email made me feel like I was punched in the gut. "The Others"---even the language used is dangerous. I appreciated the connection between the garden in bloom. I saw hope in both your bud din flowers and your rejection of a blatant attempt at manipulation. Nice work, Erin

 
At March 27, 2012 at 5:23 AM , Anonymous StoryDam said...

I like how you tie little lessons into other little stories. That is pretty cool. Every think of doing a column somewhere? I think these stories have a great angle. Just sayin. ~Brandon

 
At March 27, 2012 at 6:03 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

You've inspired me to get my garden planters ready for spring.

You're comparison of costumes is spot on. Beautifully written and thought-provoking.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Tara - I've got a few more weeks and then I can get my tomatoes out.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Brandon,
I've been hoping to get a column for years - So hard! Thanks!

 
At March 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Erin. I actually tried to remove myself from that distribution list, but they're keeping me on it. Maybe they're trying to convert me?

 
At March 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks--
--The Other

 
At March 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading! Yeah, I get angry at people who seem to know the only "right" way.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Elizabeth.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM , Anonymous Susie @ Newdaynewlesson said...

Love the way you tied in people to gardening.

I think if someone needs to defend their religion then they are not so sure of what they believe in.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM , Anonymous Lifetimetravels said...

You took me by surprise with the direction of your writing, but it worked beautifully. The connection between the two seemingly unrelated topics made strong with your words and visual imagery. Loved it. (and booo to the email)

 
At March 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM , Anonymous Tara_pohlkottepress said...

funny, I too wrote about what I'm learning from my backyard...lots to learn from out there.... and that e-mail. oh, my heart hurts for the presumptions of knowledge of a whole group of people..."dressed up" in the cloaks of their own righteousness.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM , Anonymous Mayor Gia said...

Ha, I like metaphor! Very apt.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 7:22 PM , Anonymous Sandrasfiberworks said...

oh, I wish I were a gardener. I toy with turning my kids' old sandbox into a vegetable garden but not sure we have enugh sun and not sure I have the perseverance. At the same time, must be exciting to watch those shoots come up, as well as uplifting to the spirit. Visitting from the Free hop.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 7:32 PM , Anonymous Michelle Longo said...

Well done.

 
At March 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

What the heck kind of workshop is that?! Ugh...people.

 
At March 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous Susan said...

so glad you're growing all the good and lovely things in your garden(s)!

 
At March 28, 2012 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Shiftless Mommie said...

I love you the way you tied the two stories together.

What a bizarre workshop...

 
At March 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM , Anonymous Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I love how the first story flows into the second.

But I hate that email you received.

 

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