These past couple of weeks have been about trying to maintain gracious composure
while copious amounts of tropical produce rapidly and continually overtake the classroom.
What began as a simple idea expanded and grew until the art room was transformed into a central market of local fruits and veggies,
wreaking plenty of both havoc
Like Harold with his purple crayon, when we realized how many fruits and veggies we actually made,
we had to paint a big truck
to carry them all.
Then we needed to a farmer-driver to haul the harvest out of the classroom.
Once we get the blue of his farm truck just right, that is.
This year, the United Nations theme of the year is Family Farming.
We decided we would celebrate and immortalize the amazing plethora of local fruits and vegetables available to us here in the Caribbean, with paint, plywood, and of course, a jigsaw to cut them all out.
Eventually, the relief style mural will find a permanent home in the cafeteria, hopefully inspiring some healthy eating choices and some colorful cheer.
Students were encouraged to give up ownership of and attachment to their work, so that any sweet potato in need was a sweet potato painted
by any one, of any size or inclination, who came along with a brush in hand;
because while it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an awful lot of paint to make a six foot long sweet potato,
or a larger than life bunch
We tried to have every student at the school ranging from pre-k through to grade 12 put their mark on the Family Farming Project.
Some of the best days were those when they worked in pairs, the elders helping the youngers,
With so much else going on in the world,
it can seem impossible, ridiculous, even, to imagine focusing in on something as mundane as a pawpaw
or a few bananas.
Getting the yellow just right won’t solve global warming or wipe out poverty or stop that fly that is buzzing over my head.
Yet when we allow ourselves
to grab hold of a single scrap of wholeheartedness we can pour ourselves into for even one authentic moment,
we can find satisfaction in the range of orange and red brushstrokes we can muster to describe carrots,
we can humbly chase the elusive roundness of chennets,
we can get lost in the range of greens we see when we look at okra as though for the first time,
and marvel at the maze of complexity that speaks of pineapples and limes.
In these moments,
we can know peace.