Campus pauses to reflect on the future

Dave Burbank/University Photography

About 300 students, faculty and staff came to Wee Stinky Glen near the Cornell Store Dec. 8 to plant 1,500 flower bulbs and paper notes about what they want to grow and care for in the coming months, in a community art project called Planting Futures.

The Qualities of Life working group of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, led by Stacey Langwick, associate professor of anthropology, created the event, which will become a living floral reminder in the spring of the community’s hopes and commitments. After planting the participants sported “I Planted a Bulb and a Dream” stickers.

Dave Burbank/University Photography

“The Planting Futures event offered an extended moment of both private reflection and powerful community,” Langwick said. “We are grateful to all the people who came out and participated, who chose to mark this moment with a commitment to what they find important to stand up for, to work to cultivate and to dedicate themselves to protecting.

“We heard many inspiring dreams, from cultivating gentleness in one’s family, respect and deep listening in our political arena, freedom from fossil fuels, protection of water and other natural resources, and an end to hunger. These brave visions are things worth tending to and caring for in the months and years to come. We hope that the flowers in the spring will remind us of the dreams we share for peace, justice, kindness and sustainability.”

In addition to the Einaudi Center, which purchased the bulbs and recruited students, co-sponsors were the Cornell Botanic Gardens, the Cornell Council for the Arts and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.