Hold Fast Your Dreams
by Louise Driscoll
Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And sheltered so,
May thrive and grow
Where doubt and fear are not.
Oh, keep a place apart
Within your heart
For little dreams to go!
A number of years ago, while sitting in a class taught by Mr. Brubaker, I listened to his story of raising a garden at school. The story always intrigued me, since I too love to garden. But a garden at school? How would that work? Thus, the dream lay dormant – until this past summer when I got the chance to try it.
The plots of soil just outside the lower elementary classrooms of our new school were ready to be landscaped and the almost-forgotten idea actively reasserted itself and begin growing—and soon, so did the plants!
Throughout the summer, one idea led to another. Many people helped make it possible: a nearby greenhouse gave permission to use of their mound of discarded potting soil to mix in with the poor clayish dirt we had and a nearby farmer used his tractor to transport two huge scoops of it. My dad tilled it in, a friend gave me some seeds, the roadsides offered their wildflowers, and home flowerbeds offered others. And of course, greenhouses gladly sold both flowers and vegetables. It was such fun!
Every school day since August 18, third and fourth grade students eagerly pick fresh, crisp cucumbers and immediately eat them, breaking them in half to share around. On the other end of the plot, cherry tomatoes are ripening while sweet potato plants secretly hide their treasures under the ground.
When the vigorous vines of the ornamental squash refused to stay in their designated area, my dad erected a rustic arch (made of a cattle panel) in front of the 1st and 2nd grade classroom door and the vines promptly climbed to the summit before beginning their descent down the other side! Today as several of us ate our lunch outside under the shade of this archway, I counted 26 little squash hanging down from the top and sides of the arch; there will be plenty of decorative squash for everyone to take home.
In another plot, a brilliant smorgasbord of flowers eloquently sings its praise to God and extends a clear invitation to all flower lovers to pick as many as they wish. I love seeing the creative little flower arrangements that often adorn students’ desktops. Seeing nature and book learning happily reside side by side fills my soul with deep satisfaction. And I know in my heart that God, the Giver of all good dreams, is also pleased.
CONTRIBUTOR: Betty YoderDownload