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Radishes

As we get older, what seemed mundane and work-like in youth holds different meaning for us. I think of this as maturing. My mother told us to go get radishes out of the garden and a variety of other vegetables such as carrots, peas, beans, etc.

What seemed unimportant and even beneath the ordinary gains fresh meaning. It is not only the vegetables, fruits, and flowers that were fresh. Their meaning becomes fresh. Sometimes, the chores were precursors to something more enjoyable. After shelling peas, we biked to the Peace River and rode down hill at break-neck speed.

Susan Auld’s poem brought up the memories of living at a time where box stores were not just a short ride away in the car. We depended on the produce picked from the garden, fresh eggs from a local farmer, and sometimes fresh poultry raised in a makeshift coop in the backyard. We enjoyed Nature’s abundance and freshness. Today, the memories are fresh as they take on new meaning.

Pull up some radishes for dinner, my mother said.

They grow next to the house under your bedroom window.

 Afraid I’d pull up something other than a radish

I enlisted a sister, a brother

and we knelt in the dirt

under the screened window

 looking

 at what we thought

to be a radish.

 Its leaves so new so green

our hands so hesitant   so unsure

 we reached and pulled—

Earth clung

to our fingers

to the fleshy roots

quivering in the summer sun

 we pulled up radish after radish for dinner

handing them, a bouquet, to our mother.

She no longer cares for radishes.

My sister, brother and I tend our own gardens.

But, I wish everyday

to kneel again

under that window

feeling new and green

hesitant and unsure.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

23 responses »

  1. A lovely poem. Full of wonder.

    Reply
  2. Our fifth grade class did something similar to Miss Canalie and Tootsie Rolls!~!!!!

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    AND THEY RADISHED EVERY ONE!!!!

    Reply
  4. A beautiful memory and poem. You are right- those simple things once overlooked become timeless gifts. We were in The Moment, and took us a lot of searching for something else to bring us back to the grace we are all so freely given.

    Michael

    Reply
  5. Memories of a time past. Lovely and gentle poem.

    Reply
  6. wonderful memories
    ~
    pulling carrots out of the ground
    washing them with my t-shirt
    and nothing will ever taste better

    Reply
  7. Lovely reminiscence and poem–thank you. Peace….

    Reply
  8. Lovely poem. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. I agree with the concept of your poem. That’s correct!!

    Reply
  10. Memories that a new generation will know nothing about. My aunt would send us in the woods to pick black berries. If we found enough we had pie. But all I remember was the picking.

    Reply

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