In a few minutes I’ll leave the windowless workspace where Tom and I edit, and head down the road to the school I taught in for decades, to volunteer. Fridays are still Campus Care time, an outgrowth of cleaning out the animal hutches at the end of the week. It grew so nicely, and had so many benefits that it outlived my time at the school. Here is a time when the students make a very real contribution to their environment by doing everything that comes to mind to care for it. It may be picking up trash, or cleaning the chicken coop, alphabetizing the new additions to the library, or whacking back the blackberry vines that have covered a path. Much of what we do might be considered “Chores.” I love that! Chores are the basis of being part of community. When Tom was filming he captured kids spontaneously singing as they worked. That gave me goose bumps.
Right now I am helping kids with the upkeep of our compost piles and worm bin. We call ourselves the Friends of Worms, and rightly so, as we have quite a breeding community. There is a good bit of science that happens along the way. Last week we took the temperature of the different piles, and got out magnifying glasses to look more closely at our worms. But that is the byproduct of doing something worth doing in its own right: composting leftover lunches and weeds from the garden, turning them into soil for future gardens. Life is good.