On Planting Resilience

Helicopters buzz over San Francisco tonight while the sky turns red and the greens turn blue in the Potrero Hill Community Garden. The garden is just over three miles from Urban Farmgirls’ Bayview headquarters. I stop by here after work from time to time, to sit and think when my heart is heavy.

The Potrero Hill Community Garden sits at the top of the hill with sweeping views of San Francisco. There are about forty or so small plots here where neighbors cultivate fruits, veggies, plants, flowers that do well in our Mediterranean climate. Goats once grazed on the slopes below years ago, before houses took over.

This place usually tells me exactly what I need to hear which is to shut up, slow down, and listen. Like most of us, I’ve been taking in this pivotal moment in history, fighting, and hoping for change.

Thousands are marching through city streets right now for Black Lives Matter, joining millions of others around the world in protest following the death of George Floyd. 

I’ve been fishing around for some inspiration relating the cultivation and care for gardens to this collective voice of perseverance, persistence, and determination. One that comes to mind is “A gardener must project years into the future with vision and optimism toward deciding what to plant in the present,” by Coleman Alderson.

Along with sprouts, buds, berries, and bumblebees, there is vigorous, unrelenting growth here. Everywhere I look in this garden I see resilience -vines twisting metal, roots breaking out of their pots, and tendrils climbing up and over tall wire fences.

Humans are no different, we cultivate and climb, bust out of containers, building strength and resilience with unrelenting growth, especially when we do that together!

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