My decade was made today in one simple statement. From a honest and thriving 8th grader whom was front row for my first attempts at a sustainablity-focused garden class when she was in fifth grade. Just three years ago she was tall as my chest with wide eyed questions about clear-cutting and clean water. Now just around the corner from eighth grade graduation and at least a foot taller, we had a few quiet moments together, our base coat brushes painting in restful rhythms. She asked where I went to college and how I met my husband. I told her the charming and simple story of meeting my man, having our child, and moving from Oregon to Hawaii with a two-month old Ocean.
Almost as an afterthought she said the statement that makes all the low pay, sweat-streaked hours I spend tending gardens with kids in the blazing Kona sun worthwhile. She said, "I wouldn't know about the environment if it wasn't for you."
I know she has had environmental-related lessons in other classes but the earth focus of garden class obviously struck her. The words of a Buddist monk ricocheted through my mind: "If you made just one person see another possibility than you have served the universe well."
When I am going through hard times, I have the words of one girl who summed up my whole purpose in life with one non-chalant, mind-bending comment. The student has the garden-borne glory of environmental awareness to take with her always. Together, we change the world.
Krista Joan says:
My mission is to teach, train, and testify in resistance to the white supremacy of my ancestors. My personal choices are political, powerful, and practical. Let's trash waste.