This blog started out with a different title, going in a different direction. Then I spoke with my friend Ceri. And things went in a different direction based on what she said to me during our conversation…
“Sometimes when you THINK you don’t belong, you do. You’re there for a unique purpose.”
Her words struck me so directly to my very core.
Lately, I’ve noticed there’s a place where I no longer belong. I’ve spent over 20 years of my life there & I’ve outgrown it. Or it’s overgrown me. And that’s ok. I’ve reached so many young lives, and I will forever be thankful for that opportunity. I love each and every child I’ve worked with. But I always knew I would never spend my life in the classroom.
We grow, we change, and it’s time to take a leap of faith and begin the next chapter of my life in a new home… a new place where I belong… with my hands in the soil!
You’ll also find me on my soapbox, shouting the importance of embedding garden/outdoor education and experiences for children and youth into school curricula, as well as helping to connect them to opportunities and/or experiences within the green industry. Find me fighting to reduce food deserts and increase community gardens.
For the longest time, I thought No, I’m a teacher. I don’t belong here. I’m not an expert. But no. This is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m not giving up working with children… I’m moving to another phase where I can help EMPOWER them! I hold a unique view as, not only a veteran educator but as a special educator. I see things differently and I love to spark the hidden & unique gifts children hold.
I visited my friends Ferenc Kiss & Taylor Pilker at their BEAUTIFUL nursery, Cavano’s Perennials, in Kingsville, Maryland the other day. When my friend & BGP partner Donna & I arrived at Cavano’s we noticed a lot of people working on a meadow installation.
These were students from the American Landscape Institute in Baltimore who were working on-site, with Cavano’s professionals, to learn about and plant perennials which work together to support the land and attract beneficial insects, which will help to increase their populations (and evidently, keep them away from the greenhouses, where they love to munch on the gorgeous flowers!). Of course, I had to jump in (or carefully kneel down to the ground) to join them! Their excitement and love for what they were doing, in the scorching heat, enveloped me and I knew… I loved doing THIS!
Later, a group of us went to the Boys & Girls Club in Aberdeen, MD to view their proposed garden space and learn about the community we (Bullock Garden Project) will be working within. As we toured the space, I could see, as clear as day, children learning to gather fruits and vegetables, cutting flowers to take home, families learning how to start small kitchen gardens at home…just enjoying the space! And I knew… I loved doing THIS!
I truly found where I belong.
Have YOU found the place where you belong? We’d love to hear about it. Share below in the comments, on social media, or on our podcast comments!