It’s springtime here in the Southland, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. And many of us are putting in our garden. Some of us have been working on it for weeks.
Maybe you know how good it feels to buy a $1.50 packet of seeds, stir up the soil and tuck them in, water them regularly and watch them sprout. They then become beans or tomatoes that feed our bellies, or maybe they become beautiful flowers that feed our soul. What was once a muddy dead place now becomes useful, or beautiful, or both.
But that presupposes you have a spot of earth in which to do that, or at least a flowerpot and a sunny windowsill. For a lot of the people who come through our hospitality house, memories of digging on the earth to make it productive and beautiful are just that – memories.
As a child, I was taught that to have a thing and not share it with others is sinful. And it occurred to us one day that in our new location, Love Wins has this big yard just sitting there. And we have folks with tons of experience in landscaping, construction, farming and so on, also just sitting there.
And we have all of you, who could help us make something beautiful happen. Put that all in a pot and stir it up…
What we came up with was, we need a community garden. In all senses of the phrase – a garden for our Love Wins community, and a garden where we can build community, and also a garden that makes the larger community – our neighborhood, our street, our city – more beautiful.
And then there’s the food. The ability to control the food you have access to is a form of power – one often denied to the people in our community. And while we’re not fooled into thinking that our ability to plant carrots or kale will suddenly improve the diets of the people we know, we do believe that the key to improving anyone’s life is to increase their choices.
So, we’re starting a garden. And we need your help.
Because this isn’t just some tomatoes and peppers in the flowerbed. It’ll be a place of beauty, with flowers and birds and butterflies. Because our folks have too much that is ugly in their lives – and need a place of beauty.
So there will be flowers. And benches. And a rose arbor. And mulched paths and raised beds and a hedge of blueberry bushes. And fruit trees. Because the people we are doing this with, and for, deserve a place to work, to relax, and to enjoy all that is beautiful.
But beautiful costs some money. And takes some time. And our goal of building community requires that you be there, too. So we need your help.
I hope you will click this link, and decide to help us do this. I hope your small group or Sunday School class will sign up to help us do this. I hope you will decide that a rose arbor for marginalized people to sit under, where they can enjoy beauty and forget, even for a few minutes, the struggles of their existence, is not frivolous, but worthwhile. I hope you will decide to plant flowers with us, and sit on the bench with us and watch the birds chase each other.
But mostly, I hope that you will hope with us. Because things like hope and beauty might not be everything, but they are high on the list.
Visit our community garden page to learn how you can hope alongside our community.