Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bountiful Harvest II

Over the past few weeks, the phrase that pops into my mind is “bountiful harvest.” As I've been spending more and more time in my garden these past few weeks, bountiful harvest is a natural phrase to come into my mind as I'm constantly picking lots and lots of eggplant, tomatoes and basil, thinking I have a bountiful harvest of veggies that I don’t know what to do with. Also, how lucky I am that my garden is so healthy this year, how lucky I am to have the skills to be a part of this creation, and how abundant our food can be when we care for the soil, the plant, and the fruit. A little love and tenderness to the land provides one with a bountiful harvest of food to sustain us. Just enough to survive and eat well through the summer.

But the phrase bountiful harvest takes on many meanings for me these days. As I sat in the past 2 meetings last month, organizing to gather water for No More Deaths, with about 100 volunteers ready to help, I began to think "this is a bountiful harvest of volunteers." This project came at the perfect time for me…as I was feeling frustrated, discouraged, alone, overwhelmed and a bit depressed at all the work that needed to be done and the (seemingly) few people stepping up to help me. It’s one of those moments where I look around and wonder if it’s all worth the effort.

Three amazing and beautiful women called me, out of the blue, and wanted to organize a massive water drive every month this summer. It has evolved into over 100 volunteers organizing in Phoenix, and hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water steaming in…to my house, at schools, in office buildings. A “bountiful harvest” of volunteers, water, and commitment.

Over 2,500 gallons of water was donated in only 2 days and 24 hours. Completely dedicated people eager to help and contribute in some way. It was one of my best moments in the recent past that truly connects people to each other. (The other best moment was being a part of organizing the largest march in Arizona history the Spring of 2005).

I'm not a patient person, and I have a hard time trusting in the unknown. So, this has been a lesson to me, one that I'm still learning from. If I care for something, tend to it consistently and committedly, give it constant nourishment and love, and pray a little that the roots will take hold, then something, I don't really know what, but something, will begin to grow and take shape all on its own (this doesn't apply to relationships, me!).

volunteer collecting water on the corner

standing, surrounded by over 2,500 gallons of water!

water, water...everywhere!

little and big workers, young and old.

More volunteers, showing off our muscles

hardcore organizers...NMD represents!