by Matt Vogel, UVM Hillel
June 21st | Tammuz 5781
It's June 11th and I finally stopped kicking myself for not getting the seeds in the ground earlier. Last night after a particularly exhausting day in my full-time gig as the Executive Director of UVM Hillel, I went straight to the wheelbarrow and compost pile to dig up some additives for our tough clay soil. I shoveled, I turned soil, I schlepped, I skipped dinner to just simply get this done. With so much in my work being intractable and punishing lately, i just wanted these seeds in the ground and to feel like I had accomplished one thing fully. I was struck by the balance of how exhausting this past month has been with the unprecedented bias Jewish students have experienced because of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that impacts us and others in so many different ways.
To be able to focus on the earth and the shovel and the water and the seeds and the chicken poop turned nourishing dirt, and the mounds and the extra wheelbarrow of dirt I needed to mound it just a bit without too much clay that I felt a bit more restored. With all the urgency of the past month in my work, my gardening has been neglected and it's been 100% on my partner. I could only do the basics of chop wood / carry water, in this case, just making sure the chickens, guinea hens, and baby chicks are fed and watered twice a day. Now that the seeds are in the ground, I can move on to the next project in the neverending journey of this year's gardens turning into next year's gardens and so on and so on.