When I took my son to his first day of Kindergarten this past fall, we walked past the school flower beds and I noticed how overgrown they were. I could tell that someone had put a lot of effort into them at some point, but they had been sadly neglected for quite a while. "What a waste", I thought.
I knew I wanted to volunteer in some means at the school, so I asked about the flower gardens. Apparently, a former teacher had started them with her students.... but she had since retired and no one else had continued her work. They told me how she loved flowers and would take the kids on spring wildflower walks and drives, and try to instill in them the wonder of nature, and the excitement of seeing the first spring blooms pop up.
I knew then what my task would be during the fall. I started coming on warm afternoons and tried to sort through what were weeds and what were flowers. When you aren't the one that did the planting, and everything is done blooming and beginning to turn brown, it can be hard to decipher what's what. So I did my best to walk delicately amongst the beds, and took my time deciding what needed to be pulled out, what was choking the flowers..... and what should stay.
And my reward came when I picked my son up from school last week..... when I saw these first delicate little blooms had emerged from the ground. I felt relieved that there was still life in the garden.... that I got to it in time, before the weeds had done irreversible damage.
I still have a ways to go, as winter came a little too quickly. There are several more beds I haven't gotten to yet. But in the meantime, I'll enjoy this little section of cleared bed, where sunshine can now hit and where there is enough room for the flowers that were so lovingly planted by an involved teacher, to breathe and come forth.