Growing up in the ‘country’, sharing garden vegetables was as much a part of summer as swimming, picnics, and road trips! Whatever our garden produced, we shared with neighbors and cousins. And it was a two way street! Zucchini, tomatoes, peas, green onions, berries – whatever anyone’s garden produced, the whole neighborhood enjoyed it. Such was the way of it, growing up as I did amongst the noble hobbit folk of Western Pennsylvania!
Since moving to Tonopah nearly 2 years ago, the Sisters and I have been delighted and humbled to receive the fruits of the earth from so many kind folk. We are given many wonderful gifts from the ‘locals’… from fresh eggs, to garden fresh vegetables, from pickled eggplant to zucchini blossoms (yum!).
I was so excited when I looked in the fridge this afternoon to find a super-abundance of goodness from some of our new and old friends. Zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, onions, cucumbers, peppers, canned pears, homemade jelly, and the list goes on!
I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of so many people. It calls to mind a beautiful quote from Pope Benedict XVI:
The gaze of Jesus, what ‘his eyes’ teach us, leads to human closeness, solidarity, giving time, sharing our gifts and even our material goods.
We are asked quite often: “How can we help you? Do you have any needs?” Of course there are the big needs which entail building a monastery and all that goes into that. But there are certainly more ‘rudimentary’ needs as well.
Currently we are working toward beginning a garden – both a vegetable and a flower garden. We are looking to plant roses and other flowers that are good as cut flowers, so as to use them on the altar. We also are looking to make the grounds of Our Lady of Solitude more conducive for retreats – by providing picnic tables and places to sit, so that pilgrims and priest retreatants (and the Sisters!) can have places to sit and enjoy the solitude and silence that ‘our little piece of the world’ can provide.
Again, thank you to all of you who care for our needs in truly magnanimous ways! We are so thankful!