...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hopes That Bloom All Year

"The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it." ~William James

...to that which autumn sends across the plains of winter...

I'm going to tell you a story.  It's the story of two little girls who became good friends and remained friends into adulthood.  As grown women, their favorite shared hobby was gardening.  They'd visit nurseries together and shop through garden catalogs.  When one of these women contracted cancer, the other brought her fresh flowers all winter and planted her garden in the spring. When the woman with cancer died, her friend no longer tended her garden, but instead began tending many others...

Ever consider melding your cherished hobbies with some form of volunteering?
I've blogged before about how I'm teaching knitting and crocheting to young people, creating textile goods that will travel to Africa to become warm bedding for children in orphanages.  But that's just one hobby with the potential for a greater good.
Another hobby-sharing potential that rings my heart bells springs from the story I just told.  It's called Hope in Bloom.  Like the Knit-a-Square organization I've already introduced, this group also began through the inspiration of an individual's circumstances.  Now Hope in Bloom continues to create gardens for cancer patients through donated supplies, fund raisers and the work of volunteers. 

How are they received?  Twice-recurring episodes with cancer led this garden recipient to make the following commentary about her garden:
"The minute I read about Hope in Bloom, I cried. I knew a garden was exactly what I needed. The stress of chronic doctor’s appointments and cancer monitoring had taken a toll on my family. The day of the planting was the most beautiful experience filled with amazing goodwill and love. I have never felt so cared about by so many people all at one time. My husband, Gary, and I will never forget this moment in our life. We love to go out to our new backyard to sit on our bench and watch the birds and the butterflies. It gives us a chance to pause, to be alone with nature and with each other without the chaos caused by this disease. It is a very spiritual experience. I love to tend to my garden. I care about each flower, each leaf. I love and nurture the plants, and they bloom over and over as if they love me in return. This garden is a gift. I can’t wait until next summer to see what blooms first. Now, I actually look towards the future because this garden has given me the gift of hope..." The rest of her story can be found here: http://www.hopeinbloom.org/gardens/jamaica.htm

Gardening and preserving:  one of mankind's oldest models of efficiency.  They mark the efficiency of sending what grew yesterday in one form or another toward tomorrow's hope of life.  Why not try bringing that efficiency into your giving?  Overlay your volunteering and donating with the mantle of a beloved hobby.  You'll find you never hesitate to give...

What record have you left in this world of your caring?

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