Friday, June 25, 2010

A Little Bit of Blood

Near the end of April, I shared a story about how I had been able to enlist the voluntary services of seven other people to help me build a peace symbol made out of flowers http://bitsandpeaces08.blogspot.com/2010/04/guerrilla-gardening-attack-2.html.

We had a great time working underneath the setting spring equinox sun, thinking about all the people that would be seeing our design as the summer progressed.

Well, as the spring turned into summer – and all the grasses in the area of our planting began to grow - the design became less and less recognizable, until it disappeared altogether.


Yes! It was time for a guerrilla gardening weeding expedition.

At this location, the Day Lilies that we had planted were not being dominated by the other plants – as they had been at another location. These flowers were coming along just fine, considering that it was their first year of growth. However, I figured that by weeding the surrounding grasses out of the way the peace symbol would become – again – recognizable, so that many people would be able to enjoy this effort.

Simply, I used my hands to tear the grass away from where the lilies were planted. I cleared away an area about ten inches from either side of the flowers and then I gathered these grasses into small bundles and laid them around the edge of the ‘weeding zone’.

About half an hour later, the peace symbol was beginning to take shape!

Believe it or not, grass can have a very sharp edge and at one point during my labours I found that one of my fingers had been sliced rather deeply and blood was slowly seeping from this wound. Instead of wrapping my finger, I let my blood continue to flow. I visited each Day Lily and let one drop of blood spill onto each flower. Now, the flowers and I had joined together to become one!


By doing this I felt that I was speaking to the Earth, letting her know that I was there, toiling away to help create a better future for the world. I know that she heard me!

After another hour’s labour, I had completed this task and the design was once again, unmistakably recognizable!!
I chose this site because I drive by it twice a day when I’m taking my students to and from school on The Peacebus. Since the weeding has been finished – I did this about three weeks ago – all the students wave to the flowers every time we pass by.

This last week has been especially exciting for the students as some of the Day Lilies have been blooming. When flowers do appear the entire bus fills with, “There it is!! I can see it!! There’s a flower, Mr. Jim! Do you see it?”

There will only be a few flowers blooming this year, as all the plants are healing from their transplant and adjusting to new soil conditions. Even left alone, I would anticipate that the entire peace symbol will bloom next year, but alas it will not be left alone. I will be intervening again, next spring, to add even more flowers to the design. In my mind I’ve come to accept the fact that these ‘Peaceflower Gardens’ will be a labour of love that I will continue to work on for many more years… making them better and more beautiful year after year!
Jim

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