Monday, October 7, 2013

Fifteen Years From Now


"This tree you're planting today is a  gift to the future," I tell my group. Looking around at their faces I see the usual scene: a couple eyes locked on me, some checking for worms in the dirt, and naturally, one pair has drifted off to distant day dreams. I wonder if they get the message; maybe I should repeat that part? But then I remember yesterday. 

There is a certain sweetness I feel in the moments I realize I've come full circle. This feeling bursts in me as Common Vision rolls into Del Mar Elementary bright and early. It is a school yard I haven't seen in fifteen years, since I went here as a fourth grader. The campus looks so much smaller! And oh my goodness there is a garden! A busy and beautiful section of the yard, fenced in between two fields, behind the jungle gym I spent so much time on. Wow, how things have changed. 

Common Vision is part of a movement to build a brighter future. Like the teachers who spend their off hours to build school gardens, or organize their third grade class to paint a mural, we are putting positive dreams to action. Ours is a vision where every school is a place of nutritional abundance, comfortable common ground, and learning. The power of our work is that the vision grows itself. The gifts we give, baby trees and colorful signs, really do touch the future. 

Planting at the school I went to sank that message deep in to the soil of my heart. So when I look at my group today, I see a little easier into the past. Those were my eyes filled with who-knows-what day dreams, half listening. But they'll come back one day on a whim, fifteen years from now. Looking around they'll think, wow this yard looks smaller, those monkey bars are so low, and man, that tree I planted has grown! I see the future for them: students reading in the shade, groups led by teachers picking fruit and prepping them for after school snacks, the PTA meeting among vibrant orchard signs. And so it is.

- Melody Sage

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