Replaced

Tuesday found me in the library’s learning garden with sixteen Tabor Academy learners and their three advisors. It was Tabor’s Fall service day and they’d come to get the beds ready for cold weather – weeding, transplanting a few perennials, picking peppers and herbs, gathering seeds for next year. This was the third time a group from Tabor had come to help, but the first time for these students. They replaced last year’s twice visiting group whose members had all graduated into the world beyond Tabor and this project.
The sixteen new students learned about the garden and reconfigured some of its beds; they tried hot peppers, nasturtium flowers, and pumpkin blossoms. They tasted the herbs – sage, oregano, basil, chives, and mint. When the work was done, they made and enjoyed herbed dipping oils. Somewhere in the process, they went from being students on a service site to gardeners, claiming the space and the work for themselves.

wflpumpkinblossomWhen they got back on the bus with a wave and a “see you in the Spring,” I returned the wave and the “see you then” and sent them off with my thanks. Just as I had the year before with many others. As the bus drove away, I sent a silent blessing and heartfelt thanks to those I doubt I’ll ever see again, but whose hands and hearts added so much to the learning garden. And I remembered a holy and wondrous truth: anybody’s work can be done by another, but nobody can ever be replaced.

For more on this series, see “Place” above…

Published by

Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *