Growing Friends

In previous posts I talked about the community garden run by several people at Delta State University.  Well things are going good.  We’ve got Okra, Serrano chilies, tomatoes, basil, tomatillos, and Indigo ready to be picked.  Sadly the melons fell victim to boring vine beetles and the blackberry and raspberry plants never really got off the ground.  But the climate is warm enough that we were able to plant spinach, lettuce, and Chinese broccoli yesterday.   Apparently these will last through the winter (barring unexpected cold snaps). 

It’s all a perfect metaphor for making friends.  You have to approach people (planting), keep up the connections (watering), weed out the undesirables, and ward off the pests.  Only after much effort can you harvest the fruits of your labor.  Those come in the form of advice, help, invites to social gatherings, etc. . The work pays off in the end.  But motivating yourself to do it can be tough sometimes.  Netflix is awfully tempting when nothing seems to be growing.

Viewed in that light my own efforts are still seedlings.  Of course I’ve only been here a few months.  It takes time to connect with the right sort of people.  But past experience has taught me that the work pays off eventually.  So I am patient.

However things are easier this time around.  Without schoolwork to worry about I have the time to devote to forming connections with other people.  And as I noted last week you really do have to make an effort in a small town.  That is doubly true since, unlike at school, there are few built in networks to plug yourself into.  Still the soil in the Delta is fertile, both metaphorically and literally.  So I think in the long run I’ll be fine. 

Article by Mike

Mike is the Head of Discovery Services for the Delta State University Library. He has lived in Cleveland since May 2013.

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