Packed. Ready to Go. Just a Few Reminders, Just in Case.
Posted Jun 22 2013 7:36am
My little red backpack is ready to go: the black shirts (apologies to
Ashley, who thinks I wear too much black). Those skirts I love. My TOMS.
My Kigos. My camera, note-taking pads, international power
converter, passport, Euros. A language-crossing smile (I hope).
Bread is baked. Fridge is full. Crops are ripening. Family is looking
forward to their plans without me for a little while.
I have just a few reminders for you, just in case (yes, I'm a Virgo):
1. It's almost time for Operation Pear Tree 2013 (maybe another week or two--when the pears are falling a bit by themselves). Sam Portis is my contact person. You gotta' contact the police so they close that traffic lane closest to the tree because the pears cascade in all directions when they fall (8:00 AM on a weekend works best). You need about a dozen people, at least five huge red buckets and many bags, a tarp, a ladder, and an hour tops. Start with Bob Lundsten, Connie Morelle, Robert Wittenstein, Rod Pittman, Rebecca Barria, Angela Minyard, and Van and Sally Malone. They know what to do, and where to donate the 600+ pounds of fresh pears. You make pie with the ones that get split when they drop.
2. Stay on Costco re: donating their perfectly edible but somehow unsellable fresh produce to local pantries. A far as I can tell, they are the only national market that does not have a system-wide fresh produce food recovery plan.
3. Start food pantry gardens . The one we started is the easiest, most enjoyable, most surprisingly-rewarding garden with which I've ever been involved, with all due respect to the others. Please note our food pantry garden is three years old in September and we have never once had a meeting. What we have instead? Fun. Fun matters . (Oh, and please keep Watermelon Week going at the Fugees school for refugee children.)
4. Encourage publicly-accessible edibles and the removal of zoning barriers to enable more individuals to increase their personal and city-wide local food resiliency. 5. Share my gift to parents as kids start a new school year. And note to schools: 90% of the future's jobs don't yet exist. Here is what's needed . (And here's why arts education matters for a sustainable future.) 5. Consider buying my book . It has lots of tips for ways to make a small stone-in-the-pond difference close to home and around the world. You may want to write a letter to your loved ones as well. I found self-publishing to be an absolute pleasure.
6. Most importantly, find your unique passion and run with it. This is what passion looks like . The world needs you to do that thing that burns in your belly, and to just totally ignore the many, many people who tell you it's not possible or practical. I'm not posting from Portugal. I'm on an investigative trip to the imperiled cork forests, factories, and families there, and the itinerary is packed. Here is my series of articles about it to date. This trip is a turning point in my career and life. You can be sure I'll have lots and lots of new stories upon my return. I'd like to give a very special shout-out to my husband of more than 23 years (whom I met on a blind date in New York City--thank you, Lori--and to whom I was engaged six weeks later, by the way). When this trip to Portugal first came up (five years earlier than I intended to start traveling globally for my writing business--thank you, Holly Elmore, for the connection), his first and only reaction, when I wondered if the timing was right, was "Of course you're going." His support for every single one of my personal and professional pursuits has always been 100%.
The moral? Surround yourself with people who support your dreams. Put your intentions out in the world, and let the world conspire in your favor. And trust the journey. Always trust the journey.