Tom and I have just returned from a great weekend in Abbotsford British Columbia.
I started Friday evening with a Spirituality of Gardening seminar at Highland Community church. The church is about to break ground for a community garden and so it was exciting to be able to help the participants think about their garden not just as a place to produce food or even as a way to reach out into the neighbourhood. A garden is a wonderful place to connect to God and God’s story.
As part of the seminar participants wandered outside in the garden. During the reflection time that followed one woman shared about some rather dry and scraggly blackberries she had picked off the bushes around the church. They reminded her of how God often provides us with free produce – if we are willing to go out and get it. God really does provide for us abundantly if we look around and take notice.
On the way home I kept thinking about this and listed off the many nourishing and free gifts that could help supplement our diets if we were only willing to harvest them – not just blackberries but also dandelions (probably the most nutritious plants in your garden) nettles, and in our part of the country wild mushrooms. There are also the many fruit trees that are never harvested – apples and pears and peaches.
I was delighted to discover recently that Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle has mapped all the fruit trees and sends out gleaners at the right season to harvest this valuable resource. They make Windfall preserves from the fruit to help fund the organizations.
I learnt a lot and hope the participants did too. I also hope that other Abbotsford gardeners who were unable to attend may be able to make it across the border to the seminar in Lynden Washington May 22nd.
Saturday Tom & I facilitated a futures creativity workshop for Communitas Care. It was a very stimulating day talking about how the world and British Columbia are changing and how Communitas will need to change in order to be effective in the future. Lots of creative ideas about how to move forward in a world that is likely to be very different than it is today. Sunday we spoke at Highland Community church and then had lunch with friends before heading back to Seattle.
March – May is always a busy season of travel and conferences for us. However we are trying hard to preserve a balanced lifestyle in the midst of this. Holy week we will take several days off to go on retreat, one of four that we do each year to help keep us on track spiritually. Without these i find that my life can get out of control and focused on work and productivity rather than on God and God’s purposes for me.
If you have never gone on retreat I would highly recommend this practice and there is not time like Holy week to begin