St. Patrick was a young guy when he was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland. It wasn’t until he had been released and sent home that he realized his mission. He returned to Ireland to spread the Good News to the non-Christian nation. We commemorate his mission every year on the date of his death, March 17.
Today, I went to the garden early to weed and water as to make the plot presentable for our gardening extravaganza later that day. I’m beginning to realize that the strict confines of a 5’x15′ plot are quite limiting after being on an urban farm of close to two acres. Either way, one of the gardeners at the Fountain Community Garden seems to leave me “gifts” on a regular basis. When I got there this morning, I had about 8 kale that had gone to seed. In each pod contains approximately 15 seeds. Each kale contains about 350 pods. That means each kale given to me today equals upwards of 5,250 kale seeds which means I have over 42,000 kale seeds in total. Usually I find tomatoes at my plot but today I had 42,000 kale seeds. How many people could that feed?
When I went to the church parking lot to meet the folks ready to plant potatoes, Martin, our resident maintenance man who happens to be homeless, came ready to work. He brought with him seeds from lemons, mangoes, and other citrus fruit that he had collected over the past six months. He finally had a place to plant them. I watched him as he planted them among the citrus grove in the garden. He is originally from a town called Reinosa, MX on the border of Texas. While we gardened together he told me his story of immigration and hope. His family, located in Arizona, closed the doors on him when he told them about his faith. His family forbade him welcome or shelter and he was forced to find his own way. Yet today, he spoke only promising visions of a future filled with healthy food and relationships.
We planted all blue and red pontiac potatoes in honor of this missionary, Patrick and in peaceful reconciliation of Martin and his family.
We had our youngest gardener with us today, Sophie, who is six. She worked harder than all of us. Her face tells the story. That’s manure she’s lifting. Her sister, Zoe, and their parents were vital in our potato planting efforts today. Zoe wore a green dress and took off her shoes. She really got in there and made a mess of her bare feet. When was something so important or fun that you were willing to be covered in mud? When do we loose that sense of freedom? Zoe and Sophie each reminded me of that today. I only hope that I work as hard to be this small part in God’s big vision. It’s takes a village, and today, we had one! Thank you to all those who come out both physically and in spirit.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
-An excerpt from St. Patrick’s famous prayer.