I volunteer for an organization that is part public/community garden, part harvest market, part nursery, and part educational resource.
I love it there.
In the beginning, all I did was weed. I didn’t mind. It’s quiet, peaceful work that requires patience and persistence, which it turns out I have when it comes to weeding. I’m the same with untying difficult knots. Can’t get your shoes off? Poor thing…come over here and let me take a look at the problem.
Certain activities bring out my perfectionism – without the Type A personality, of course. Uh, why do you still have your shoes on? I didn’t unknot your shoes for fun, you know. Next time, can you take them off before entering my blog? Here are some slippers you can wear (which I will burn immediately after you leave).
A weeder’s job is never done. Ever. I began to think that I would never graduate to doing anything else.
A few weeks ago, another fellow weeder and I were asked to help with some planting. We were so thrilled that our egos ballooned up over our heads.
We made it!! We’re too legit to quit!!
A week later, the garden manager asked me to help harvest the broccoli:
“Get a clipper from the barn – ” He instructed.
My ego starting floating up into the air again. I quickly returned and started to cut some of the heads of broccoli, realizing that some of the stalks were way too thick for the clippers.
“How do I cut some of the bigger stalks? I don’t want to hack at them.” I said to the manager, holding up my narrow clippers.
“Well…first of all, those are wire cutters.”
Ego properly deflated.
I knew how ridiculous the situation was, so I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. He gave me his clippers and went off to get another pair. I put my head down and started working. I also harvested snap peas and then remembered the manager saying they needed carrots, too.
I couldn’t find him, so I asked someone else which carrots to harvest. I hadn’t a clue.
“Look at these tall greens,” She pointed to a large clump of carrot tops. “You could pull the more mature ones.”
Those were some stubborn carrots. I pulled, dug, and wrestled until I had sweat falling into my eyes (and everywhere else). Sometimes I was left with only the tops in my fist. If I had more time, I could have gotten more of them out, but everyone was beginning to leave and I still had to cut the tops and rinse them. As I was doing this, the garden manager showed up with another basket of carrots. He didn’t pick many mature ones – most of them were quite tiny.
Note to self: always find the manager and ask him how he wants things done.
My supervisors are loose and forgiving. They aren’t looking for perfection, which is perfect for an imperfect person who thinks she needs to be perfect. What they’re looking for is willingness, and I am more than willing to learn and add to my growing base of knowledge (and superpowers). I predict all of this will come in very handy in the future…