Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Coretta Scott King Forest

looking through the trees of a forest as the sun is setting

Hello fellow readers, As I sit to write you, it’s Martin Luther King’s Day honoring a great man. In preparation, I dug through the internet maze to learn more about the advocate of equality, looking for a connection to gardens or nature to share with you today. And there is one, the Coretta Scott King Forest. But first, a reflection.

the sun peering through a forest in the fall What would Martin Luther King think?

Over dinner, while discussing today’s troubles, I asked Curt what Martin Luther King would think.

“He promoted color blindness in society to bring us all together. We are all people. But now, instead, we’re going through growing divisiveness. He wouldn’t want that,” Curt said.

We’ve all heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28, 1963). One of the most quoted—

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”

But now more than ever, we seem to be falling into the initiatives of disunity and conflict with encouragement to “identify” ourselves by race, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality. Then there are the protocols of the virus, causing more debate and discord.

The Coretta Scott King Forest – a living memorial of Peace & Justice

I hadn’t known until digging through the history of Martin Luther King Jr. that he and his wife Coretta Scott King were also advocates against antisemitism—the hostility and prejudice against Jewish people.

In 2007, a year after the war with Hezbollah, Israel announced plans to re-forest land destroyed by rockets and name it the Coretta Scott King Forest, who passed away in 2006, as a living memorial of her legacy of peace and justice. There was already a forest honoring her husband.

An empty blue jays nest in snow I pause to reflect and look upon the vacant nest in the viburnum outside the library. I’ve shared the story about blue jays once held in disfavor as aggressive birds due to being beaked by one years ago. But I grew to adore them while watching the nest last summer; learning their reputation is not warranted.

Sadly, a hawk took the young, and the parents left. As I look upon the nest now, in all its beauty decorated in fluff from last night’s snow, perhaps another family will come in spring.

Plant seeds of Peace & Equality. 

We can’t change the rhythms of nature – the cycles of predators and prey. However, we can change conflict amongst each other. Each of us can plant seeds of peace and equality. Imagine the roots growing into a forest of magnificent trees. After all, our inherent nature, human nature, is one of kindness and love.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” —Martin Luther King Jr. (1963)

Garden Dilemmas? (and your favorite Podcast App.)

You’ll enjoy Ep 40 of the Garden Dilemmas Podcast, sharing more of the story.

More about Corretta Scott King 

Link to the story of Blue Jays Bad Reputation 

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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