To the Editor,
During 2011 I asked that the Lumbee Housing Complex to plant a garden with our traditional crops of tobacco, corn, beans, peas, collards, cabbage, sweet potatoes, potatoes and whatever else makes a great bowl of homemade soup. Crops grown are to be given to the most at-risk populations of our community. I have asked boys and girls clubs and elder associations to tend these gardens.
I want more Lumbee people to become master gardeners. Master gardeners nurture living things in the best environments, producing the unique beauty that the Creator has given every tree, flower and plant. In order to have the richest soil from which to grow the strong unique living things, master gardeners have to till things up. They get rid of the dry topsoil and add nutrients when needed to clean dirt that may be toxic. They cut out roots that may obstruct growth and position plants and seeds where they may be most apt to succeed.
Lumbee people are like no other garden on Earth. Our tribal members are appealing to the eye, pleasant to the spirit, quick in intellect, generous with whatever they have to offer, nurturing to each other, founded in faith and resilient in nature.
Many of our “leaders” have forgotten these birthright qualities. They have grown accustomed to living in darkness and hiding seeds of our brilliance in turtle shells. Turtle shells tend to make a sound when they are shaken, especially if they have seeds in them that need to be heard.
I shake up the people in power positions for decades who, like weeds, have made a barrier around themselves. This barrier prohibits those in the power circle from continuing to relate to those who are outside that circle.
In 2012 lets till up the barriers and plant gardens. I envision the gardens of opportunity that exist in each and every spirit and life force of every Lumbee. Power brokers fear that sunlight that makes gardens blossom and grow. They want those seeds kept in those turtles shells. I am asking every Lumbee in 2012 to do some gardening in our lives and in our tribal government that will allow all Lumbee people to blossom.