Sunday, August 11, 2019

Welcome to the Garden, Fall 2019

Welcome to the WBHS Literary Garden, Fall 2019
By Literary Garden Club President 
Olivia Cannella, Class of 2020
Olivia takes pictures of the Garden after our August clean up. In the left foreground, guarded by Poe's raven, is the sedge.
The garden means patience to me. I was never a huge reader which then makes it very odd for an abstaining reader, as I was, to join a club about literature let alone subjugate myself to a whole year of reading old American literature in Honors American Literature. It might have taken me 15 years to get there, but that garden was waiting for me. I became enthralled with Edgar Allan Poe's “The Fall of the House of Usher” as the months passed, and I finally stopped making excuses for disliking every book we read. Poe was the first author to take me to visit the garden, to see his sedge. Sure, the garden had been there beforehand, but it was only then that it meant something to me, where I began to savour the time it took for his sedge to grow and his roses to bud. The garden had patience, it knew the plants would bloom when they were meant to and it knew I would arrive (in my own time) when I was meant to see it. I know the last thing I want to do is wait for something to come, but what a better way to teach me the beauty of time than a garden seeped in years of hard labor and tough love. 
Kurt Vonnegut's heart-shaped hydrangea from Cape Cod, MA. 
My goals for the club and the Garden this year are as follows: Increase the following and support the garden has throught the school on a student level and within the community--including the commitment of both. In addition, I want to involve the garden and its people in the daily lives of our students. This would mean hosting events that include the Literary Garden to celebrate it along with share it with others. Many times, kids don't take a second glance at the garden, thinking that "it's just a garden.” This year, I hope to open the door to others so that everyone can feel welcome as a part of the garden even without being a part of the club. Finally, I want to encourage growth at our daughter garden at Doherty Elementary School, the Junior Literary Garden. I know that with the success of the Junior Literary Garden, we will be able to share even more with the community as a whole. As kids, we were shown that a garden can bring a community together with Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. Today, I think two gardens are a great start to do just that. 

The door is open to all!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Hello, Goodbye

Hello, Goodbye
by Mrinalini Gupta, outgoing Literary Garden Committee Chair (Class of 2019)

I would argue that procrastination is one of the fundamentals of the high school experience, and I have definitely procrastinated on writing this blog post. This time, however, it wasn’t for the thrill of cutting it close to the deadline, or even because it was an assignment that I had been dreading. It seemed like an impossible task: to condense into a single blog post the three years of everything the Literary Garden has been to me. 

As I wrote this, I found out that it truly was a Herculean task. How could I convey the passion and support of all the club members who showed up and showed out for the Haunted Literary Garden? They braved rain and mud with bright smiles even as noses ran and feathers drooped, and despite the unfavorable weather, they put together an amazing event. There was no way for me to fully convey all the laughter (I’m still laughing at “Poe-ka,” sweat (“this wasn’t a weed?!”), and tears (seeing  “Mothra” in real life was a pretty gnarly experience) that not only I, but everyone else connected to the Garden have invested in it. I have mulched and weeded and done all sorts of things in the Garden, and while I can’t say collecting a whole molehill’s worth of dirt under your nails counts as a great time, spending all that time in the Garden certainly was. This year we also inaugurated the Junior Literary Garden (much love for the amazing Ms. Bain!) and I could not think of more meaningful legacy to leave behind. 

The Garden has a special, undefinable quality that brings people together, and I’m so glad to have been part of a group of such warm, supportive, genuinely wonderful people. They have taught me the strength of teamwork and the power of caring (and also, fun fact, that those “weeds” are actually little baby sunflowers—oops!). Most of all, being a part of the Garden has shown me that if you only have the courage to dream and the bravery to follow it, you can work wonders. 

It seems only yesterday that I was a tenth grader, sitting under the pear tree and discussing Their Eyes Were Watching God. As the flowers in the Garden start to blossom once again, my time in the Literary Garden draws to a close. However, I know that I will continue to carry the three years’ worth of memories, laughter, and love that I have experienced by being a part of the Literary Garden with me always.