The Peace of Fields of Grain

Many people these days are growing gardens. So they watch their lettuce, beans and peas grow. And it’s marvelous and miraculous.

But fields of wheat and huge agricultural fields of a variety of commercial crops are exponentially different than small gardens.

We’re learning a lot more about both labor and fields as we get to know one migrant family in particular and other migrant families in general through work our congregation is doing with our local education Intermediate Unit.

Those large fields of grain and vegetables feed a nation. The fields and those who care for them should be well tended. We probably should pay more for our bread so that people who work the fields earn more at this back breaking work.

We should also pause (at least mentally!) as we drive by these majestic fields and give them their due. Fields full of amber waves of grain are something to behold. And they nurture us. Oh, we give thanks!

There is Peace in a well filled belly that those of us who have never gone hungry do not understand. Perhaps we should try… we might be more generous toward those who have no daily bread…



One Meatball for Peace

This picture (as so many) offers very contradictory feelings for me…

First, my girlfriend’s mama made her sauce and meatballs. Looking pretty delish! Sauce and meatballs are Italian for I love you, child of my heart… So there’s the perfection of this beauty.

And then, there’s the song that reminds us that those who go hungry are also mocked for it. What is that about? Who are we as a people?

And then there’s my joy in my friend Ann Rabson, a wonderful blues singer, who left too soon. Whenever she was going to leave your life, it was going to be too soon. Not only could she sing, she was a good friend. I miss her voice. I miss her laughter. I miss her heart and talent.

So, cook for someone you love, donate to programs that make sure people are fed, and buy yourself an Ann Rabson cd and rejoice. You can donate to her fund to encourage Blues at the same page. You can listen to One Meatball sung by my friend right here.

So take some Peace, give some Peace and grab some Peace (or give it to a friend!)


Speaking Out Peace, llvl

For whom do you speak? What rouses your passion? Whose plight stirs your soul? What gets you going enough that you get going?

I hope you have an answer. If your answer isn’t clear yet, I hope you are inspired to reflect and poke around a bit.

Having a constituency to speak for, to act for, to dream for changes your life. It’s often not what you plan; it’s what you notice.

I’ve spent most of my life working on women’s work and gender and sexuality. That stirs me. It always will. But when the hunger statistics invaded my consciousness, that stopped me cold. This is it. This is the bottom line on the Maslow hierarchy of needs. You can’t get far in life without satisfying hunger and shelter and healthcare. So here we are. I have a team and we’ve got a mission. And that mission has a people. And so, without any personal experience of childhood hunger, I speak for them… and agitate. and lobby.

So what gets you going? What overwhelming Love in your heart compells you finally to speak up for Peace? It’s a great feeling to know that. And an even better one to be acting on it. Because you can make a difference.


Edges of Spring Peace, LLVL

I’ve realized recently that I’ve been on edge. Well, duh. We’re on the cusp of so many things. The weather refuses to turn, but Mother Nature responds to sun this time of year. So we keep slowly moving toward next season’s promise…

At the church, we’re slowly figuring out what we’re doing to fight child hunger in the Susquehanna Valley. Every time we move toward a solution, we find a billion steps we have to do first. OK, yes, I’m exaggerating, but it feels like that. I’m the regular ready, fire, aim queen, but a project this large demands a large amount of aiming.

And I’m realizing that I’m being shaped by things… having lost so much of my family, it’s really about reshaping myself. I’ve chosen to locate myself in my life… that’s what writing la vida local is about. We’re doing a hunger project for kids right here… choosing to lead where we live. Time for community… time to make it what we want, to form it in the style of Peace, of Love.

And it’s time to pay attention to the changes and make new places to celebrate what happens…



No Peace in Hunger, llvl

Encountering the local hunger problem has been life-altering for me.

So often when we hear “poverty” we don’t understand the world or its grinding nature. Many of us talk easily about sources of poverty, but we overlook the daily realities of it.

In my region part of that ugly reality is hungry kids.

It took a “perfect storm” for me to see it. After Deb’s death I was so sad. When the house voted not to allow the SNAP subsidy to lapse, I was driven quite literally to my knees in my living room. Not believing people to be worth of food knocked my pins out from under me.

I turned to my thinking team at church. I didn’t have an idea in my head, just pain. Scott, our church treasurer, got the hunger statistics. The rest of us were stunned. The crowd that had driven the Staten Island project batted around ideas. Most of them were far too grandiose. We knew we wanted this year (we thought!)’s project to be local. And now we knew we wanted it to be food. Last year we’d raised funds for the local food pantry. We knew we could do that again, and did. We started talking to other churches, finding out what they were doing, making a list.

And then we heard about the back-pack program. They’re all over the country, Love help us, because there is child hunger everywhere. Turns out, our local school district had just started a program. We talked about it in church, there was a huge outpouring of money. We had our purpose. We just needed to figure out where to step up so that we could do the most good.

This has turned into a huge project with a lot of pieces, few of which are in place yet. But huge projects take time. You’ll hear more from me, about what we’re doing, but in the meantime, you can help if you want to. Go here to read about this and to donate. There’s more information that will show up on the website soon… that’s one of those projects currently underway, but it’s a start.

Sorry, I tried to write about St. Paddy’s day… but this got in the way… Feeding the hungry is concrete Peacemaking. Please join us.