This morning a group of students from D.C. came to Eve's Garden to bring us their prayer, in labor and reflection, and to bring us justice through relationships with the kids and I, and to get the soil of Camden under their nails. They worked very hard, and I would have like to have had more time with them, but they will be returning in November on All Saints Day.
I was very very proud of the Junior Farmers. A lot of children came today. Marco worked with me for 10 hours today!! He didn't complain one time. He loved it more and more as time went on. He loves the nuances of agrarian culture, and helps me to appreciate new aspects of the life. At the end of the day he said, "Wow, this is a hard working farmer's shirt." His shirt was covered in an array of humus hues. I was very proud of all of the Farmers today, and how readily accessable their love is to give, to people, even people they have never met before, and may never meet again.
Peace Park is the new name for the park at Broadway and Ferry. There is a gorgeous statue that i saw today (and you have to wait until tomorrow to see). The park gives me goosebumps. As I was shoveling wheelbarrels full of mulch toward the end of the day, a man came up to me for a third conversation and said, "you know, people will really see the beauty within themselves when they see this park." I agreed and added, "you are so right, they are also going to see the beauty of the Creator when they see it." Yes, people need that.
I really enjoyed hanging out in that park all afternoon today. You get to see who comes and goes, what people are looking for, and reclaim the space for goodness, one day at a time. I love Peace Park. It is one block away from the greenhouse, a botanical wonder. It is one block away from the labyrinth, a spiritual journey.
As I continued to shovel mulch, a very very very young child, way too young to be riding a bicycle by himself on Broadway, maybe 6 years old, yelled up toward the liquor store, "hey. Give me a cigarette!!!!!"
"What did you say?" I asked him.
"I wasn't talking to you," he said.
looking for words, looking for words, "Hey, cutie pie, what's your name?"
"Poppin-um-hot" he says. All the thugs around were treating him like a drug runner. He didn't look like he was older than 6. I kept seeing him riding his bicycle all around us as we were planting. I asked him if he had any brothers or sisters around here, trying to place where I knew him. Hard and cold , he stiffed my questions. I told him he looked familiar, like I had seen him when he was a baby. Trying to place him I asked "when were you a baby? i think i knew you when you were a baby?" Hard firm face, Popumhot says " a veryveryveryvery long time ago."
I don't know what to do about Poppumhot. Today is the last day of the Easter Season, the end of the nine days of Novina prayer, tomorrow is Pentacost. Where is the resurrection?
The only thing redeemable about this whole entire situation is thinking about the amazing beautiful people of all ages that came together today with their hands in common ground.
Marco was so well trained, the professionals were very impressed. And i think one of my favorite moments of the day was as Marco was inspecting the planting he asked, "Are all of these Plants Natives?"
As i continued to shovel mulch i started to think about how much the land has changed around here in Camden. It changes like how my body changes, or how yours changes. It changes, yet it is of the same substance, it is transfigured.