They came from the city
for a day in the country
to learn about sustainability.
Sitting in the soft breeze
on the front porch of the farmhouse,
they listened as we explained
how the planet is a living organism
in which all the parts are interdependent
and that sustainability is about
getting to know the natural world in which we live
and then living in such a way
that all the parts can thrive.
Then we showed them the things we do
to try to live more sustainably.
They met the alpacas, goats, chickens,
guineas and Red Wiggler Worms
and saw where the bees live.
The visited the strawbale hermitage
and spent some quiet time in that quiet place.
They picked cucumbers and zucchini
and dug sweet potatoes
in the garden.
They learned about growing food without chemicals,
and composting.
They learned about how what we grow and eat
impacts the planet
and fixed a giant salad
that included vegetables from the garden.
For a long time,
we sat at table enjoying fresh food
and lively conversation
about food
and sustainability.
Then they played in the pond.
We couldn’t have had a better day.
They were curious and eager to learn,
willing to risk.
At their request,
we did not leave the hermitage
until everyone had the opportunity
to experience using a composting toilet.
They had never eaten
all the vegetables they had chopped
and put into the salad.
After several questions about snakes,
they made timid first-jumps
with tubes
into the greenish water of the pond,
and then talked their adult leaders
into staying longer so they could make another leap
“without floaties.”
They couldn’t have had a better day.
Sitting in the hermitage,
Tatiana asked us questions about how we built
a house out of straw and mud.
She was in awe,
her eyes asparkle:
“This is my penthouse.”
And then she asked us if she could become
our youngest intern.
We couldn’t have had a better day.