Remembering- Kids4 May 2021
By Kris Gifford
Date Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021
May was a month for Kids4 to remember...and an encouragement to keep remembering, even in the midst of what seems impossible.
Our storyteller, local author Mélina Mangal, invited us to remember our physical world and the magic it offers to us each day. In her book, Jayden’s Impossible Garden, young Jayden learns how an ordinary, city space can be transformed into a place of nature and connection. With the help of his neighbor, Jayden begins little by little to plant, nurture, and build--eventually creating an “impossible garden” for his mom and everyone on the block to gather and together see the beauty that surrounds them. Ms. Mélina met with our kids on May 26 to read and answer questions about her book. Children were excited to share with her the nature they have been exploring!
The nature connections continued on Saturday, May 29, at our Becker Park picnic! After munching on some sandwiches and popcorn, children had the opportunity to decorate a recycled container, fill it with soil, and pick some flowers to plant to beautify a community memorial space in our city. Then on Memorial Day, several of our families traveled to south Minneapolis. There, small, careful hands tucked our beautiful planters in and among the offerings at George Floyd Square. We stayed for awhile, talking to a caretaker of the square, painting and drawing, walking and reading and talking, remembering black lives taken and remembering our call to love and justice.
Several days after our visit, the city of Minneapolis came in unannounced to remove this community memorial space. In the photos, I saw city employees carrying off the precious, hope-filled offerings our children had created. I felt angry and sad and so aware of how fragile we all are, how fragile nature can be. It was apparent that misunderstanding and distrust can wipe away a gift of love or even a life in one callous second. I grieved the destruction of so much and so many that have been “cleared away” to make more space for whiteness and its institutions.
Still, I sensed something fighting back underneath the destruction, something strong that cannot be removed with city trucks----I sensed the strength of community remembering their story together. I sensed the invitation to help tell this story. And this story will last. Even as forms of remembrance shift, the story will stay. Together, we and our children are all planting seeds of hope and creating impossible gardens of justice in our communities, gardens that will not be destroyed or forgotten. Come together, keep remembering with us.