Earth Day Musings

April 21, the day before Earth Day, is a beautiful day in Northern California.  It is warm, and mostly clear.  I took a walk and enjoyed the feel of the fresh air, the sound of birds and the distant whine of the BART train. A pleasurable Saturday.

Tomorrow I will be doing activities with elders with dementia who reside at a retirement community.  In the afternoon, in honor of Earth Day, I have planned to do some planting in the small outdoor garden with the residents.  Earlier this week I stopped off at the nursery to pick up some healthy plants, mostly culinary garden herbs.  Once established the plants should thrive in sun and with a potentially haphazard watering schedule.  I have chosen tarragon, sage, Italian oregano, lavender, thyme and marigolds.  These plants will be joining a well established rose at the center of the raised circular planting area as well as an equally well established geranium.  The presence of these established plants gives me some hope that those newly added may in fact thrive and become abundant in their new environment.

My expectation is that the residents will enjoy my presentation of the herbs and will dutifully touch them, or perhaps smell them, when I bring individual plants close to them.  A couple of the residents may choose to assist me with planting these new plants.  What I do know for sure is that many of the residents enjoy being out in the garden, wearing sun hats or sitting under an awning, feeling the breeze and listening to the birds.  It gives them pleasure.  Their pleasure makes me happy.

What are your plans for Earth Day?

Love Leads the Way II

I left this blog in January, with my attention toward moving North.  For awhile, it seemed as if that were exactly the direction I was pointed.  My position working at a retirement residential facility in Emeryville came to a close as my position was eliminated.  As with most people in their 60’s,  I was anxious that I might never be hired again.  I applied to many positions north of the San Francisco Bay Region with no success.  I applied to another retirement residential facility in San Francisco and was hired with a start month of April.  I was offered both full time and part time employment and opted for the part time.  The facility is one that serves primarily Jewish residents, I am Christian.  How would I be received?  Would I be open to receiving them?  Both were questions that I pondered as I prepared to begin working.   I am happy to say that I am delighted with my new position.  I am leading a phenomenal creative writing group, an equally phenomenal short story group, and have recently begun a Mandala group.  The Executive Director asked me how I felt about being working at his facility, I said that I felt honored.  I do.  I also feel deeply privileged to listen to residents, some of whom are Holocaust Survivors.  I am aware that the lens that I see through is a Christian one, but I am immersed a few hours a week in service and in something very creative that augments my perspectives.  I feel deeply blessed.

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