This week's reading took us through the “Allegiance to Gratitude” chapter in Braiding Sweetgrass, inviting us to reflect on the words we once put our allegiance in and seeing a new way to express our gratitude for the world around us. While reading this chapter, I felt the words her daughter expressed about saying the Pledge of Allegiance and recognized the many faces around me that do not have the experience of “justice for all.”
Inspired by the gratitude of the Thanksgiving Address, I feel the gratitude of Enderly Park washing over me. In honor of the relationships I have made and the place that I live, I would like to offer my statement of gratitude for those I hold dear.
I am thankful for the nights sitting on the porch with loved ones, sharing the stories that deepen our roots. These stories tie us together and allow us to create new beginnings with one another. These stories bring understanding and love that is often taken for granted but ultimately bind us together forever. We share these stories and laughter, “And now we are one.”
I am thankful for the generosity offered in times of hardship and sadness. In a year of uncertainty and pain, Enderly park neighbors offered a loving hand and an open ear. Free of judgement, my neighbors welcomed me and made me feel at home. “And now we are one.”
I am grateful for the young people showing me the true meaning of life. Their friendship and love shine the brightest in my mind when I think about Enderly Park. The relationships that formed out of trust and care bloomed to make new families, brothers and sisters add to my life. Their laughter carries me through my days. “And now we are one.”
I am thankful to the teachers of Enderly Park. Not through the classroom but through wisdom they teach us how to follow our hearts and learn who we are. I am grateful to those who shared their wisdom with me and taught me to love and listen to those around me. “And now we are one.”
I am grateful for the gardens and farmers of Enderly Park. The connection to our soil goes deep and shows us how to connect with one another. I am grateful for the seeds traded amongst one another and knowledge shared. I am grateful for the young people excited to garden with me and to learn about plants. I am grateful for the elders showing me new ways to sow my seeds. “And now we are one.”
I am grateful for the small business owners that put the neighborhood they work in above profit. In these times of COVID local business has shown how they invest in our lives and help us flourish together. “And now we are one.”
I am grateful for all my neighbors of Enderly park. This year has been rich in compassion and understanding. Even through hard times, Enderly Park has shown that it values their people over all else. And because of this, we truly can become one with each other.
Written by Marissa Bucklew, QC Family Tree Sustainability Intern 2019-2020. Marissa is an intern from the NBA XPLOR program which invites young adults to spend a year with non profit organizations around the nation. This year, she has worked closely with the neighbors to build relationships to deepen our connection to this community as well as spread the stories of neighbors. She also works to maintain the physical space of QC Family Tree, including our gardens and resident spaces.
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 2013.