Last Tuesday, the first sunny day after about a week of dreary clouds and rain, the Glean team and I headed out towards the faculty residences to pick some fruit that was hanging over their fences. Still waiting on responses from the flyers, we decided to make due with picking the fruit that hung over their fences! (a little skeptical looking from inside the fence I can imagine, some random unseen force shaking your tree can't look like the norm on a Tuesday morn). But the gleaners were successful! We ended up picking a whooooolllle bunch of gorgeous lemons and oranges! I can only imagine the harvest we will reap once we can get access to the whole tree! :)
Our efforts turned out to be much appreciated by one spectator, (I'm assuming a professor living in one of the houses near by) who stopped her car and gave us thanks for gleaning the trees! She was so thrilled that we were picking the fruit and told us that she would love for us to come back again and continue to glean the area! Woohoo!
That Tuesday morning ended up being quite special. I broke my first sweat of the day at 10:30 and couldn't have been happier about it :) (I'm an aggressive gleaner...)
Other exciting updates!
On Saturday, the students in Page's Foods and Community class, myself included, headed up to the city to check out the Julian Pantry. The pantry provides fresh fruit and vegetables to 200 individuals each Saturday morning from 10:00 to noon. All who come are welcome to receive food.
Two full cars of students headed out for the city at 9:00 am to arrive at the Pantry an hour later. Upon arrival we were assigned a station to work. I worked with a young girl named Patricia who lived down the street. Later I found out that she was 18 and had just graduated high school. She works at the pantry every weekend. I had a great time joking around with her as we put hand-fulls of beans into bags, one after another. There wasn't much time to interact with the people in line because it moved that quickly. Just a friendly "hello" and "your welcome," but it was still a beautifully simple exchange. Most of the people in line spoke very little English, but their eyes and smiles expressed all the gratitude in the world.
Time seemed to zoom by, and we all wrapped up in about an hour and a half with a decent amount of produce to spare. It was certainly a different experience than at the Free Food Stand, but still rewarding and very efficient. I have a great deal of respect for the people running Julian Pantry because of what they manage to accomplish each weekend :)
I continue to feel such gratitude when surrounded by people who are actively trying to make a difference, however small it may seem, in the lives of those less fortunate. Without seeking anything in return; these people are true heros.
"We can act from that place of inner equality with no attachment to the outcome and no agenda because we are free from judement. From the perspective of presence things simply are as they are and in that lies divinity, the expressions of which sometimes look beautiful and sometimes look horrifying. By flowing freely with what is we can co-create in harmony with it as agents of divine will."
Love & Light