Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Quote Day

Service to others is the rent you pay
for living on this planet.
~ Marian Wright Edelman

Service to others. What does that have to do with knitting, running, reaping or eating? Let's take it point by point.

Knitters are amazingly generous people. We share our knowledge, our ideas, our skills and our stash. We use little sticks to turn pieces of string into useful and/or decorative things and more often than not we give them away.

I've been involved in knitting projects which served homeless shelters, cancer patients, battered women's shelters and federal inmates.

The Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, Patriot's Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To earn a spot in Boston you have to run a qualifying time in another marathon. Or you have to raise a lot of money for charity. Nearly every distance event out there benefits a cause.

Whose garden doesn't produce enough food to share? I've heard some people lock their doors in the church parking lot to ward off unsolicited gifts of zucchini or tomatoes. I shared a couple of cushaws last year, and the women on the receiving end told me they've saved the seeds and will plant them this year. Squash: The gift that keeps on giving.

Cooking food and serving it to others is a gift indeed. Whether feasting with friends or helping the hungry, food nourishes us, body and soul.

My volunteer gig at Alderson Federal Prison Camp is going on 13 years now. I can scarcely believe I've been making my way to that facility to share my experience, strength and hope with a roomful of inmates for more than a decade. When acquaintances wonder why I do it, I always reply, "I learn more from them than they do from me." Which sounds selfish, but it's not, really. Because they would say the same thing about me. It's the best kind of service – when you help each other think, hope, dream.

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