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faith & spirituality | homelessness

Spring in the Children's Garden

Last fall, the city uprooted, slashed, poisoned and burned the flowers, the herbs, the greenery in the children's garden. They did it by order of Officer Meiers. They did it to make the world a less hospitable place for homeless people, and in so doing they made the world a little colder for all of us.
When I saw what they had done, I wondered if there was any hope left for us. If human beings could blindly rob each other of such a simple and beautiful little gift as this garden, could there be any redemption for us at all? As if destroying all the forests around us for profit were not enough, they had to take this little green oasis away just for the hell of it. No, worse than that. It was for the sport of it. It was presented as being in the "best interest" of this community, because otherwise homeless people might find solace there along with the rest of us. Better that no one have it to enjoy than that "those people" might find a quiet place to rest. And so, they tore it down.

It's been a long and bitter winter.

We've had many moments over the winter to reflect on the harshness that has crept over our world.

But this morning, as I walked past the desecrated site, I had to pause. There, in the middle of the bare earth, I saw the tender purple-tinged blossoms of at least a dozen little crocus lifting their delicate heads above the stark surroundings. And I realized they had been sleeping there all along, waiting for the spring.

Nature is subtle, but very, very strong.

All the loud and inelegant tools weilded by the great city of portland and state of oregon rumbled across the earth, waging war upon the garden. But beneath it all, the tiny crocuses survived. I find myself wondering what other plump white roots might be swelling beneath the soil nearby, what other stoic bulbs might be reawakening, what other questing shoots might find their way to the surface and into the fragrant sunlight once again.

And it occurs to me that maybe the winter is finally over.

Location? 23.Feb.2004 19:18


y'mean up by the I-405, 13th and Morrison?....

yes 24.Feb.2004 07:34

that's the place

13th and morrison.

I have some seeds 24.Feb.2004 15:38

I will strew them in that soil

Maybe just maybe those seeds will grow to join the struggle with the formerly dormant iris bulbs.

actually, CatWoman it's not Meirs, it's 24.Feb.2004 15:53

really Jeff Myers

and he is the subject of a lot of commentary here. He is featured in the one about the
WORST POLICEMAN IN PORTLAND contest that The Mercury is doing, plus he's featured as the
star-player in the latest "let's do bad to the homeless" incident over fence put up, and
he is the star-player in the latest ZooBomber fiasco, in which police went to the home-
owners in the area and sought to get them to request TRI-MET to close transit station on
Sunday night's to keep the ZooBombers from catching a ride out to even start the race
down hill. The homeowners weren't impressed, though cordial, but afterwards laughted at
his ass! That's the fellow! It's Myers and not Meirs!`

haven't forgotten 24.Feb.2004 17:19

the Grinch who Stole Greenery

I think it's Jeff Meyers

Not to be confused with this Jeff Meyers, the producer of "Just Say Grow" :-)

This much less horticultural Jeff Meyers:

Some of Portland's neighbors will long remember this fine excuse for a fellow, who claims to bravely battle homelessness by giving the homeless nowhere to "go".

"Israel Bayer, Streetroots' director, is not so diplomatic. Responding to the police's allegations that the homeless had turned the garden into an outdoor toilet, he retorts, "There are no public bathrooms available." Bayer adds, "Whether there are bushes or no bushes, guys are going to take a whiz outside."

Meyers, Meiers, Myers 27.Feb.2004 17:08

Who Cares?

We all know who we're talking about...right? Who could miss the amber waves of surfer dude hair? If you want to give him a call to ask him how he spells his name or why he tore down the children's garden, you can call him at central precinct (503-823-0097).