Edible woodland winter tree at the Story Garden

Folks gathered to commune at the winter Story Garden. Photo by Debbie Tallen.

Folks gathered to commune at the winter Story Garden. Photo by Debbie Tallen.

 

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” – Leonora Carrington

On the corner of 35th and Humboldt Avenue when the biting cold settles in, and the garden is put to rest, life has a way of retreating back to where it came from. A white blanket settles over the earth and the sun sleeps early. A corner that is normally overflowing with life and warmth is now resting for the season.

For one brief afternoon on December 10, dozens of community members came to the garden bundled up and needing to be together. A roaring fire kept everyone warm, a tree was lit and ready for decorations. Neighbors baked cookies and muffins. The Boys to Men Club came bearing gifts and mittens and hats. Families decorated bread painted in almond butter and dipped in bird seed to hang on the tree. Another neighbor bought books for all the kids. It was neighbors caring for each other and the smallest of creatures.

The purpose of the ‘winter tree’ is to care for the wild and free animals that live in our community in the winter. It is an act of kindness to think not just of ourselves, but for the earth and her furry friends. It is also a moment of human connection to build the relationships that make our community strong. It is a symbol of hope and peace.  It is about respect. Integrity. Gratitude. Honor. Conscious living.

This event breaks into a rigid construct and offers a contrast, a new story. The community brought life to a sleeping plot. The light diminishes the dark. The fire altered the cold. People came hungry and were fed. Isolated households came to commune together.

The Story Garden is a purposeful place that desires to tell stories of the strength of the Northside. Not to dismiss the pain, but grow from it. To help offer hope in the dismal.

Thank you to all who came and participated! It was a truly heartwarming afternoon in our neighborhood at the Story Garden. To know more about the garden and events, contact the garden manager Dani at danielle@folwell.org.