Surprisingly, this blog post wasn’t prompted by a phone call by the wonderfully patient, Jessi Stark, enlightening me on a week past due missed deadline. Instead of hurriedly and immaturely trying to fulfill program requirements, I’m writing instead being incited from an experience I’ve honestly yet to cast words too. My belief being that maybe orchestrating an unfiltered string of words across a brightly colored array of pixels will bring relief; to ascertain that the fleeting presence of hope is just an unrefined, youthful character trait; depredation and denial experienced is a self inflicted wound; the interconnectedness of all living and creating is a concrete, universal truth; that beauty and reverie aren’t moments to briefly taste, but a reality to breathe every breath; and that the world doesn’t rest on my shoulders.
I don’t know where I lost simplicity. The ability to cry at the cadence of a lyrically rich line or the sight of a budding tree through an early morning commute. Joy in all its sublimity and rudimentary essence, has been diminished to glimpses, muddled through the fog of urgency, efficiency, and utilitarian efforts. I tasted it again though. In an effort to make every motion a redemptive, restorative act in the world, stoicism and economic measure became my numbing forces. On those first few sips, a steaming cup of coffee cascades through your chest on a cold winter day; I felt again peace filter through my soul as the finite nature of my being took hold.
Seattle found the better of my ability to quell my wanderlust. An invitation was extended by a dear friend to work with and follow around Zsofia Pasztor, the founder of a nonprofit focusing on urban agriculture projects. I walked through sites for homeless youth initiatives, Muslim relief and advocacy groups, reservations plagued by disparity through greed and tribal politics, and educational-focused school sites. Displaced as a Hungarian refugee, she herself fled to the states and now runs ‘Farmer Frog’ with over thirteen sites throughout the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. In an unrepentant, bold fire for to see change manifested in these injustices and an annoyingly abundant amount of energy that puts to change my millennial title, she’s wrecking shop for social change and sustainability movements in her area. Beautifully grounded in humility, selfless with time and energy, and personable beyond belief: Zsofia invites me to be a better lover of humanity and believer in hope.
Take away. I’m not essential nor am I needed. The world spins on, people are fed, and laughter exists without my existence or meager efforts. Life is a vapor, which is glorious and freeing. I’m filled with this holistic peace as I find “the ripples of divinity within the everyday ordinary” (Trappist monk). Reverie and wonder must be the lens I wear to keep alive the fire I refuse to quench, to recklessly redeem and transform the earth into the heaven it should and could be for everyone who gets to call the place we live home. Change must be bitterly pursued and demands our perseverance; but being attentive to the soft, alluring voices of awe and wonder is what keeps our souls alive. I won’t be wasted away and Beauty exists. (I just needed that last statement as validation for myself, ha-ha).
“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning