Summer is coming to an end. My kids went back to school Monday, and I am left wondering where the time went. This summer didn’t quite go as planned, but not many have and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. At first I felt like I hadn’t made any forward progress with this endeavor of helping those who are food insecure. I didn’t write nearly as many blog posts as I had hoped and I wanted to catch up on a backlog of reading, which did not happen. But as the end of summer approached, I realized that progress sometimes doesn’t feel like progress, because you don’t always move forward in a straight line. Sometimes you move forward by zig zagging or meandering.
This summer was about meandering. At first I felt like I was slacking, but I came to realize that I needed to take some time to be still and look at what I had done thus far and assess what I wanted to accomplish going forward. Luckily for me, the circumstances of summer gave me that time. I determined that I wanted to change my approach to my blog. I had started to look at my blog as my mission, and while it is an important part of my mission, it is not the mission. I also decided that I work better with people, if only to have someone to whom to be accountable. Consequently I have decided to assemble a group of people in my area who share my interest in assisting those who are food insecure.
Concurrently with my decision to form this group, two local women who read my blog about the lack of summer feeding programs in our town approached me to express their concern over this issue and their desire to work to remedy the situation. Eureka, my first two committee members! I have spoke to a couple more people I know are committed to the cause of assisting the food insecure and have a couple more people I want to invite to participate. Over the coming year I hope to work with this group on a summer feeding program and on developing others ideas.
One thing I never stopped doing this summer was volunteering, which was a different experience than volunteering when I first started. I can’t quite say why. Maybe because I am more comfortable with my fellow volunteers and the clients. But I also think it had something to do with the availability of fresh produce, which changed from week to week and became more plentiful as the summer progressed. Sometimes I felt like Santa, handing out presents to a room full of 5 year olds. Just this week while volunteering, I picked 54 pounds of tomatoes. Clients were waiting for them when I put them with the other produce. When I left 2 hours later, only a few pounds remained! Supplying this produce and having the clients eagerly take it fills me with a sense of joy and helps keep me invigorated to continue my journey.
My Tomato Picking Buddy!