Quote of the Day: If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Marcus Tullius Cicero 

There’s plenty about my life I can’t change. Can’t bring the dead back to life on this earth. Can’t make the world loving and kind. Can’t change myself into a millionaire. But a patch of ground in this trashy lot – I can change that. Can change it big. Better to put my time into that than moaning about the other all day. That little grammar school girl showed me that … That Monday I brought a shovel home from work. from Paul Fleischman’s Seedfolks

Sonja Parks in The Children's Theater Company's touring production of Seedfolks. Photo by Dan Norman

Sonja Parks in The Children’s Theater Company’s touring production of Seedfolks. Photo by Dan Norman

We were fortunate in the Brainerd lakes area to have the tour of the Children’s Theater Company’s production of Seedfolks stop here. Sonja Parks is a tremendous actor. She seamlessly flows from one character to the next as she tells the story of a neighborhood. It all started with a little Vietnamese-American girl and a handful of seeds. She wanted to plant them and watch them grow. She wanted that trashy empty lot to be something more. Then, other neighbors from the high-rise apartments started doing their part. Soon, they had a garden, and green space, that they could all be proud of. They worked together building community as they beautified their neighborhood, and grew some healthy food!

Parks plays all the various characters that inhabit this neighborhood story, 11 characters in all. I could hear and see their distinctive voices. The set was projections, and amazing lighting design by Paul Whitaker, and sound design by Sean Healey. Peter Brosius directed this play, originally performed at CTC in fall of 2014. After the performance, Parks invited the kids to come closer for a post-play discussion. One of the kids asked how they were able to coordinate the sound effects so well. Parks explained how the lighting and sound team worked. It really was marvelous. They kids in the audience were fascinated by the play, the story, and the theatrical elements. Victor Zupanc composed much of the music you hear in the show.

Sonja Parks interacting with young audience members in the Brainerd lakes area.

Sonja Parks interacting with young audience members in the Brainerd lakes area.

I thought of how amazing people can be when they work together. How they transformed that trashy vacant lot into a community garden. How they got to know each other as they dug in the dirt and created something together. I thought of my own garden. I had just bought some plants, and decided to go back to the plant sale for more. I’m not as big of a gardener as my mom, but I do like watching things grow, eating the fresh veggies, and looking at the flowers. I think, too, of how the flowers improve my neighborhood. My neighbors can look out their windows, or walk by and enjoy them. Gardening connects me to my farm girl roots.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Did you plant a garden, or maybe a window box or containers? What do you like to watch grow?