Growing and Flourishing
A story about how people can grow and flourish in the same was as plants and flowers.
This morning I walked my visual walk through the garden at The Comfrey Project as I do every day. Trying to discover what needs doing next.
As I was walking past the newly planted hedgerow I spotted one of our participants quietly, peacefully, watering those plants.
I had to stop.....quietly.
Let me take you back now to 2003 when I off chance spotted job advert in a local paper. The advert read : Project worker needed for a small charity working with refugee and asylum seekers. Charity called The Comfrey Project.
As a gardener I thought "Comfrey!?".... Comfrey plant.....Knitt Bone.....Healing Plant?!!! Ah! Healing Project, it all suddenly made sense. Sounded just perfect. I got the job!!!
I remember for the first time going to The Comfrey Project allotment and met small group of participants with the huge welcoming smiles on their faces they were full of busy...."Come see my reyhon, biteku-teku, duoli, covo, sholu, amaranth, ngal-ngal." They can all grow and thrive here.
They were so happy to be able to grow plants that they knew. Then some time later the stories started pouring in....
Why would someone choose to leave their home, their country, their family, and everything they knew and come to a new place and face having to learn a new language, new culture and start all over again.....All over again!!
It must be so frightening not to be able to explain if you are in pain, you are hungry, thirsty, cold. You lose control over your life. That's what happens!!!
So being able to sow the seeds, grow and nurture them, take care of them as they are your only possession must mean a lot. Well someone did say once "I look at my plant growing roots and flourishing here..well maybe I will start growing roots here too...just maybe?!"
So what looks like a very simple task of watering actually has a lot behind. You can say a man is watering plants. Yes. True, he is. But he is watering HIS hedgerow, forraging hedgerow he planned, designed, planted himself.
It's so important to have those plants growing and flourishing. It's very symbolic. At least one thing he does succeed. He might not have control over many things in his life at the moment but this could be the one. One for today at least.
Stories from refugees and asylum seekers living in the North East in their own words.