This is my 48th year around the sun and you, my first born, are now sixteen. I stop my weeding and look down at the ants. I watch as they work together to build community and quickly move into action when their home is disturbed. I pause to call you to watch too, as I've done many times before. But something has changed. Now as I look at you when we're together in the garden, I see that you're not as attached to the space as I had hoped you would always be. In this age of technology, more people have their heads down in computers and phones than they look around them or talk to one another. We're apart.
Just days ago, I thought of you when I learned that the Ashview Community Garden is in danger of being displaced. People who don't live there and who have no connections there have decided to close it down in just a few weeks. How ironic. I want to take you to see this special section of Holderness Street. It's not as large as the garden we're in now, and may not be as well known, but it's important to the people in the community who care for it. They understand what it means to collaborate. They plant and then eat the food they grow. The children even earn bikes in exchange for working with their hands and their hearts. They do all of this together.
Noah, there may be many times in your life span when people will come and try to take your history away. They will come from the outside and try to convince you that what they are doing is for "your good". Yet they will not have asked you what you want. They will only pretend to listen to your response. When they come, will you stand and use your voice to fight? Will you remind them of how much your people have invested in this place? Maybe we have not sown hundreds of dollars, but we have sown seeds, time, heartaches, joy, and love.
One day very soon, I pray that you will look up from your phone and gaze more readily into the eyes of the people around you. I hope that you will remember the many talks we've had in the garden over the years about sharing resources and about caring about the needs of others. I hope you will remember the peace in this place and the collaboration of the ants. Remember how they both build and fiercely protect their home.
If you don't look up and around and move quickly into action, what's happening to Ashview could very easily happen here...
I Love You,
HELP KEEP THE COMMUNITY GARDEN OPEN AND
SIGN THE PETITION
To learn more about Ashview Community Garden and to discover ways in which you can help, go here. The more we stand together, the more we can impact our communities.