Moments of Life in a Dead City

One of the joys I found in this day of shutdown and isolation was discovering the Columbia Heights community garden in my walks through the neighborhood. It is at 3321 11th St. near Lamont St. NW, accessible through a corridor between houses on 11th St. NW. I walked in through the fence and followed a grassy path that led me to see all manner of trees, flower bushes, and vegetables in plots. Ahead was a greenhouse like structure with delicate lettuce plants inside. Flower bushes and purple amaranth fronds adorned the entrance. Nearby, I heard a blue jay's cry and saw a monarch butterfly alighting on a zinnia. This was Eden! I felt welcomed by the sight of an Adirondack chair and picnic tables. Later, I learned that volunteers maintained the garden, under the tutelage of the farm manager, Kate Tully agriculture professor. In 2020 the garden shared 600 pounds of its 2,000 pounds of organic produce with charity. I spoke with many volunteers, and came away feeling impressed wit h their optimism and dedication. I often visit, just to sit on the Adirondack chair and meditate on beauty and hope for better times.