In March I had the awesome opportunity to work with the 10th grade class of San Diego’s Waldorf School, and I helped facilitate their SEEDS program. We worked on several garden projects, including planting fruit trees on a hillside (by the cob chicken coop) to help prevent soil erosion. Shortly after the class planted them, they started to bloom!
I remember a conversation I had with my coworker Lia while we were observing their buds. She told me she was sad to prune them because they were so pretty, but that we had to do it because they were putting all their energy into flowering and not rooting. In order for them to have a long life they need to secure their roots in the ground early on, and then they can direct their energy on blooming. That resonated with me.
As a camper at Camp Stevens I was eager to show others I was blooming. During team building activities, my eagerness to lead often prevented me from listening to others – I was focusing my energy on showing others that I knew what to do. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned came from times when camp counselors challenged my adventure groups to focus our energy on listening to everyone’s ideas and sharing leadership. Communication was our roots.
Camp Stevens continues to show me that tending and pruning can sometimes feel challenging, but it can result in something beautiful and sustainable.
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