I am starting to wonder if it isn’t the most simple ways of connection that hold the greatest hope for change and good.

One man knowing deep in his soul and body that growing something green can bring us together and care for our most basic need that every human deserves

One woman believing sharing salad can heal us and bring life

One family calling in the rhythm of an ancient goodness with drums

…and for one sweaty Richmond night, none of it feels so complicated…it’s just a gathering of people in a community garden, eating salad, while kids give wagon rides and take turns watering the plants…and someone gets an impromptu photography lesson and another financial advice…while others that had no plans at all find their way out of their houses to listen to the drums.

…and the space is held unknowingly and yet with so much intention.

*

…because growth, food and community are the most simple ways to love.

If you live in RVA, you can join us for the garden and salad magic at RVA Salad Fest #2 this Sunday at 7pm at the McDonough Community Garden in Woodland Heights!  Thanks to Duron and Maat for including me!

*these 2 sweet souls had never met but I caught this sweet hug at the end of the night.

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So there was a day of Netflix watching…yes, an entire day. Because this is what is required to complete blog posts on some days. And when you can no longer watch even one more episode of Garfield, your mind finally returns to imagination.

It all started with Lyra deciding she should have a picnic in the old red wardrobe that is falling apart. The bottom row usually holds towels but every last one is in the laundry, which incidentally has grown into a small mountain. An empty space is an invitation for picnics and eventually magic.

When she was eventually done picnic-ing and lounging, someone found an old hand-me-down gifted wand and figured out it was indeed a magic wardrobe…and the game began. Someone climbed in, a dramatic wave of the wand and the person climbed out  something completely different… it was usually a cat or a frog, but each time it grew more exciting.

I found myself kind of wishing I could climb into the magic wardrobe and come out changed…and there are things and experiences that change us, like magic, quickly- some that harm us that we have to work hard to undo, and others that change or rearrange our souls in profound ways for the better.

…and there are some magic wardrobes that we have to climb into over and over again to try change on until it sticks or to get comfortable with the idea of something that is completely different than what we know or who we are.

…and there are some magic wardrobes that we have to climb into to dream the impossible or to keep our dreams close. I think these might be the best wardrobe moments, because you never know when the magic may actually happen or that the dream is being held when we can’t seem to hold on…or it’s just too big/scary.

…and sometimes the magic in the wardrobe is love, hope or kindness…or truth- the gentle and hard kind, vulnerability or courage.

All of it is important for change to come, or for it to find us, or for us to embrace what is already there.

If you could lounge in the magic wardrobe today, what would you be when you came out? or what would the wardrobe hold for you? who do you wish could climb into the wardrobe with you?

Feel free to use the comments as the giant wardrobe today.

 

…and don’t you kinda wish you were reading The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe right now? and actually, it’s a red armoire, but wardrobe sounds dreamier. 

 

It feels like overnight I have been dropped into a world calling for active change (besides my kindness work, of course). This scares me…it overwhelms me…I start running around in my head trying to figure out what I should do, where I fit, wonder if I fit, worry we have to start NOW…and in the middle of all the tizzy, some tiny bits of clarity have been miraculously somehow, even despite my crazy head, been floating to the surface. So look for a few posts on the subject in the near future…today, all change reminded me of was chicken nuggets.

I remember, so long ago, I was at a Valentine’s Day party when Josiah was just in preschool. We were fixing food plates for the kids and I looked down at the heart shaped red plate and staring back at me was a slice of pizza and chips. That’s it. I looked over at my friend who was quietly slicing up cucumbers and cutting down tiny broccoli trees right next to the pizza and chips for her son.

I started the terrible parent dialogue in my head, you know the one…

“OMG, when did we become the family with the chicken nugget and macaroni and cheese kids? I thought we were totally gonna be the sushi and crab bisque family? ”

You know the kids that eat and try magical and delicious exotic dishes because their parents introduced just the right foods at the right time from the start? And I tried, oh I did and still do…I made baby food and listened to foodies, and watched organic food commercials and went on food kicks….but somewhere along the way, I got another job, and laundry piled and had another baby and  went out to eat and had drinks spilled on my lap from reaching/fast said baby and just wished the freakin’ french fries would  come so my kid would eat and I could finish telling my man about the very important TED Talk I watched 10 minutes of about toxins in our food. And I felt slightly justified that my kid still loved fruit…and tried to ignore that fact he hated anything green and that I was a shitty parent…

…until the Valentine’s pizza plate because I realized slowly but surely, I had given up on any hope of change. Because it was too far gone, or took more energy than I had to give, or that it was easier in some strange way to claim bad parenthood than to try, because my kids were doomed to a life of poor nutrition…and it was all so dramatic, as mothers seem to get, even busy, harried mothers, it’s what we do. (or if you are just me, and your life is dramatic and care this deeply about EVERYTHING-peas, injustice, and the right ribbon on the ding dong ditch flowers)

*

But something about that day and my friend cutting up tiny broccoli trees, (and she was indeed going to point out the wonder that broccoli looks like tiny trees to her four year old) shifted something inside of me about change. She had a chicken nugget kid too, but she still offered a green thing on that plate, every time. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

She never knew when and if or what he would try…but she believed it was worth trying. It was small and insignificant but consistent and hopeful. I realized the whole world of problems is like a giant plate of nuggets, we may not be able to solve it all in one fell swoop but the world is worth offering some broccoli to, over and over again. Almost everything good starts some where with someone believing it may be possible…and believing in the people around them, seeing and claiming something no one else has yet.

So I am happy to report that over time some members of my family no longer gag at the sight of something green on their plate and others will even take a few bites (some with a bribery of dessert) and the entire family will now eat chicken ceasar salad slathered in dressing and fluffy croutons for a real main dish dinner…and there are less chicken nuggets in the repertoire  and more whole foods all around.

But  that one simple quiet act by a wise mother created change in me… I know now it all matters, each step we take, no matter how small. It leaves the world and all we hold a beautiful place to start.

*Lyra shockingly started eating the bag of peas in our photo shoot, I know, who knew?!