We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marian Wright Edelman
Last night at the community garden volunteer training workshop we brainstormed how to get a neighborhood more involved. The Valencia Community Garden was established four years ago and the neighbors are still not working in the garden or participating in the monthly veggie of the month food demonstration or yearly taste-a-thon. I listen to ideas that sound similar to the ones we come up with every year at this training.
Early that afternoon I was the adult assigned to a table of four young adolescents in the youth summer gardening program. The tasks were to fry green tomatoes picked from the garden and to make a remoulade sauce. Two of the guys began the job of slicing tomatoes (carefully tucking fingers out of the way of the sharp knife) and then coating them with egg, flour, and a cornmeal mix. The only girl in our group took over the frying, diligently stirring and flipping the prepared slices. The youngest member of the group (whom I affectionately call Tigger) measured and whisked together the ingredients for the sauce.
There were no cuts, no burns, no big spills…and no arguments. All I really did was watch, amazed.
Hey y’all. Maybe we’re overlooking something here. For four years we’ve been grooming the next generation of neighbors. And they are very involved.
Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening. Emma Thompson
Yesterday’s quote (In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.) was a real ride.
First of all I was very aware of being alone. C’mon creativity, I began thinking, don’t hesitate to step in here.
I finished reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult with a zillion thoughts racing through my head. Sit still, Laura. You need some grounding.
I picked up another book and knew immediately there were too many words. I wanted something different.
I roasted green beans and steamed carrots harvested from the backyard, then planted the gardenia a friend rooted for me a month ago.
I went to the bookstore and grocery and bought only unlined notecards and bananas.
I walked around Michael’s for nearly an hour, picking up one thing and then another. I bought nothing. But when I got home I cut my new notecards into tiny squares and filled a dozen with zentangles.
Open to creativity. That’s what you were, girl !
I know. Should I worry about what I might experience with the quote I picked for today?
Nah. I’ll be right here if you need me.
- The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (beautifulifebysigal.wordpress.com)
In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone. Rollo May
For most of the last two weeks after writing morning pages, I take a walk in the park that reminds me of Girl Scout camp, my favorite childhood setting. You know, that place they tell you to imagine when you meditate.
Sounds like a great way to start the day.
It is. And then before it gets too hot I work in the garden. Today I picked two more tomatoes and a bowl full of beans. The corn is almost ready.
And during the day I’ve been reading. A lot.
OK. I’m wondering why you are telling me all of this when you know I already know it.
Because there’s something else.
Spit it out.
Well five days ago I started taking the quote from my morning post and watching how it plays through my day, knowing that at the end of the day I will write a ten minute free write in response to it. With this focus all my little routines become so much richer… hell, my whole day feels so much richer. It’s like I’m being me and watching what it means to be me.
So, wise one, how do I share this with others?
Looks like you just did.
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. Franz Kafka
Yesterday I carried a Parker Palmer quote with me. In my head and in a little notebook tucked inside my purse. Thoughts about listening to my life came and went. About 8:30 last night I retrieved the notebook, set the timer, and began writing. The well-rehearsed thoughts were quickly noted, followed by pieces of ideas I didn’t expect. Whoa. That was cool.
So this morning I choose another quote. Not as much from my angst as from curiosity. What might I discover if I go to the gardens behind the art museum? Or visit my artist-in-residence friends downtown? Or pick up the book I was enjoying yesterday? Or work in my vegetable garden after yesterday’s storm?
I like the potential of this idea…
My yellow squash has been attacked by the dreaded squash vine borer. But not before I was able to harvest several pounds of mature fruit.
The sprawling plants are now only large flowers at the ends of withering stems. That’s probably the end of this year’s crop.
After early morning garden chores, feeding and watering six cantankerous chickens for a vacationing friend and retrieving mail and the newspaper for another, I go for a walk.
On the park trail I have an idea. People eat squash blossoms! I knew they could be fried, but there must be other options. I find a recipe for squash blossom quesadillas at http:homesicktexan.blogspot.com. And I can use the last of my cilantro before it goes to seed.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. Friedrich Nietzsche
Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow. ~Henry David Thoreau
Solvitur ambulando, St. Jerome was fond of saying. To solve a problem, walk around. ~Gregory McNamee
Thoughts come clearly while one walks. ~Thomas Mann
Walking is also an ambulation of mind. ~Gretel Ehrlich
Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. ~Soren Kierkegaard
This was on my Facebook this morning…and so worth sharing.
This is a quick post.
1. In a few minutes a friend and I are taking a day trip to a nursery (plants) a couple hours from here.
2. I’ve been struggling with a writing “assignment” providing copy for pictures on the website of our community youth garden. Just the facts are not pleasing me. I’ve submitted the idea for an alternate approach and am waiting to hear if I can pursue it.
3. Tonight’s the third anniversary of the library book club I facilitate. I want to get home from the nursery in time to make cranberry nut muffins for the celebration. This month’s selection is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I’m expecting a stimulating discussion.
And the quote for the day…
It’s good to be creatively busy. Me