"To see things in the seed, that is genius." -Lao Tzu
I have always been fascinated by the parables concerning the life of workers in the fields and the faith that is required to flourish. To put such hard work into a task only to realize that your work alone is not what ultimately yields a bountiful harvest is a humbling process. Instead, you wait and allow circumstances outside of your own control to bear the fruit of your labor. If during that waiting process the worker chooses to be shaped through the challenges presented, they come to know what it means to persevere. And in the midst of encountering perseverance, something extraordinary happens. The worker begins to see the potential, a glimpse of what could be. He begins to see things in the seed, things that will leave him forever hopeful and faithful.
When we began this project back in late January, we wasted no time in getting into a task oriented mindset. We hit the ground running real fast, making several phone calls, addressing donation letters, recruiting volunteers and stakeholders, creating programs, establishing connections, and designing visual handouts. Deadlines were quick and promoting our initiative was essential in gaining support. Then came the waiting, the tedious task of practicing patience. We waited for donors to call back, for in-kind donations to be ready for pick up, for handouts to be printed, and for the dreadful winter to finally make its way out. With so much going on, our to do lists soon became overwhelming and some delays caused discouragement some days.
But it only takes one extraordinary thing for aspiration to surface once again, and this weekend was a beautiful example of what perseverance leads to. My heart felt full as I witnessed the amount of volunteers who worked alongside us this Saturday. Running between the kid's cooking classes and the labor site, I felt a sense of hope as I realized how small the seeds we have been planting are in relation how big and beautiful an outcome can be. It is then that it occurred to me that Saturday was not just a work day, Saturday was the beginning of helping a neighborhood learn to dream and reconnect once again. This was evident in the eager faces of children learning about healthy foods, in the words of encouragement received by homeless people in passing, and the generosity of construction crews dedicating their time in guiding our team.
Hope filled our hearts this Saturday, and it continues to as we strive towards seeing the restoration of the Paseo West Neighborhood. May we continue to see life in the seed.
Pryor Fellow '13