Dirty Hands and Happy Hearts

As many of you may know, last weekend was our 13th Annual Plant Sale. I apologize for not having a blog post for you all last week; needless to say, coordinating a plant sale with no prior knowledge of gardening, plants, or anything of the sort can turn out to be quite the daunting task. I am so extremely grateful to all who helped out; Melaine and her extensive knowledge of plants, our generous plant donors, folks that helped pot and dig in the weeks prior, and especially those who came and purchased plants the day of the event. The beauty of the community at OCP came alive as I realized that even amidst this hectic time, I was far from alone and never without help.

There is something awe-inspiring about watching people handle plants. The Tuesday Work Day before the Plant Sale, our wonderful community member volunteers were helping out by potting and labeling the plant donations that we had received. Melaine, with her patience and kindness, showed everyone where to trim plants, how to bag bulbs, how to add just enough dirt, and talked to them about the different kinds of plants. It was so amazing to watch how carefully people handled these small signs of life; their hands would stroke the leaves, observing them, connecting with the plant and it’s energy. There was a quiet hush that fell over everyone on the porch. You could hear the gentle hum of the rain hitting the roof above, and the occasional laugh or question and answer, but overall everyone seemed to escape into their own “zen zone”. Even Pedro, who is normally inside diligently cleaning OCP’s interior, took a break from his usual duties to help with the potting. I watched his strong, calloused hands handle the plants gently and intentionally. A smile crept onto his face as Melaine talked him through the different plants, and showed him how to trim and pot, too.

When we circled up for lunch later that afternoon, Annie and Tom both said that they loved the cool feeling of the dirt between their fingers, and many heads nodded in agreement. It was such a calm time, a time where negative thoughts and feelings were pushed aside and these tiny, diverse forms of life captivated people’s hearts and attention. Even on the day of the plant sale, it was so exciting to watch people connect over the varieties, sharing knowledge about the vegetables and perennials, trees and herbs alike. Some shared recipes, some shared growing tips, and some moved about in attentive silence as they perused the bounty to make the perfect purchase.

I am thankful for the life-giving energy of plants. I am thankful that people feel safe and comfortable coming to OCP and lending a hand. I am thankful for all of our sensational community members that, despite their unimaginable hardships and life circumstances, can come to a place where they can laugh, learn, find peace, get their hands dirty, and find happiness in their hearts.