Death Grass

By , phoenix, AZ
“Should I go….It is not required, maybe I should stay home and sleep in.” So I decided to go. I woke up at 5:30 to meet my two friends at the light rail. Once I arrived at the light rail we all got on. It took us 20 minutes to arrive at the Japanese Friendship Gardens.

My two friends and I were put in charge of the tea house area. It was the perfect fall image leaves were everywhere in sight and especially on the Korean grass. The bamboo was also shedding leaves. The area was quite odd depending on which side you were it was either extremely hot or cold. This is an important section to the garden. We had our work cut out for us. Although bamboo is a beautiful plant, it is also incredibly messy and do not get me started on the Korean grass.

That grass was a death trap; no matter how many times I swept it, it would look exactly the same as when I had started. This was not the section to assign to three teenage girls with OCD. By the end of the day I no longer suffered of OCD. The grass was incredibly difficult due to its mossy texture. Only the miniature rakes could be used on this kind of grass. The grass also had to be treated with care. One false move and a chunk of the grass would come flying at you. Then you would look around, once the coast was cleared you would go down and pat the grass back into place. Once you were back on you r feet you would whistle a tune and begin to walk away as if nothing had happened. Sofia and I left the rest of the task to Linh after we had finished ¾ of the job. We moved on to tackle the bamboo jungle. I had to dodge odd shaped bamboo and squeeze in between them. This way I could reach every single fallen leaf. In the end eight HUGE piles were gathered. Each bag was filled up to its capacity. Once we were all satisfied we decided to take a small break.

During the break we received the privilege to feed the Koi fish. With a large bucket full we set off for our quest to feed every last Koi fish in the pond. The bridge was the best place to feed the Koi. When someone walks on the bridge it sends a vibration into the pond. This signals the fish that it is lunch time. After about a minute swarms of hungry Koi come. On the other side of the garden there is a small step you can walk on. If you kneel down that put me close enough to pet the Koi.

“There is a back!” exclaimed Sophie.

“What do you mean?” Sophie had discovered that we had only finished a portion of the bamboo. Sadly we only finished half of the work when we left the garden. We planned to return the fallowing weekend to finish in time for the tea ceremony.

When we first arrived the lady who is in charged had mentioned something to us. That our volunteering helped the garden receive funding. This way the gardens could continue to stay open. I am glad that I decided to get up that Saturday. My mom wonders why I enjoy “wasting” my time cleaning the community. Most people do not understand the feeling that doing something that helps another person gives you. Who would have thought that something a teacher assigned would be enjoyable? Ever since that day I try to find other ways to help my community by cleaning or spending some time with an elderly perso





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