Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making connections

Earlier today, I met two significant allies, each of us wanting to make a difference in the community, each of us with individual passions. We made arrangements to meet at the Village Cafe, our new local-organic restaurant in downtown Bryan.  These two gentlemen, Cody Marx Bailey and Andrew Pittz, are already active participants in organizations across the Brazos Valley. This meeting, I hoped, would be an opportunity to find out 1) what's already happening in the community; 2) what others are hoping to achieve in the community; and 3) how can I become involved. 

I was aware that there is a movement in our area towards cultural change, as it relates to food and the environment, but I wasn't aware of how extensive it was. Here are some of the blogs these gentlemen represent:

The Association for Social Entrepreneurship

I also learned that there is an active community garden, scheduled field trips to local farms, and most recently, a nearby neighborhood is launching an effort to bring neighbors together and facilitate community-mindedness in part through a "Service Learning" program for neighborhood children (ages 10-15). How exciting is all this?

Both men had read the blog and knew a little about me. I reiterated that my passion is three-fold: eating locally, buying locally, and achieving a "greener" lifestyle. I guess I should throw a fourth passion into that mix: voluntary simplicity. Though the other three are more my focus recently, voluntary simplicity has been a ten+ year effort, and the spark that started me on this wonderful journey. I also indicated, that although I fully support large-scale efforts for policy-change at the highest levels, my skill and desire is to work with small groups and individuals to inspire simple changes that in turn add up to huge differences in our lives and in our communities. 

After two hours of thought provoking conversation, many laughs, and even a few book recommendations, I offered to contact a few possible funding opportunities for the expansion of the community garden into other areas of the community as well as gather names of other individuals who might be interested in becoming involved in the many projects newly underway. 

I can't help but feel that this is the start of a new chapter in my life. As my illness begins to take a back seat in my day-to-day activities and I continue to make connections with like-minded individuals in the community, it's only a matter of time before this simple-green-frugal gal embarks on a new and amazing adventure. Bring it on!


Michelle said...

How fun! Good for you!

Heather @ SGF said...

Thanks, Michelle! I'm really looking forward to doing more in the community. I'm trying to take it slowly and edge back into activities since I've been out of commission for so long. But just knowing that all those possibilities are out there is exhilarating!

Theresa said...

Glad to hear your illness is taking a back seat - good for you for doing what needs to be done to keep it back there :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Theresa - It's been a battle that's for sure. Honestly, it was a very conscious decision to put the illness on the back burner. And it started long before I started getting better. It occurred to me one day that there were things I could control and things I couldn't. My health is just not something I could control so I decided to just run with it and concentrate on other things.

It's hard to explain and I probably haven't done it well, but by chilling out, finding ways to have fun while sick, and letting my body heal in its own time, I think I've learned a lot and and a result am at a point in my life where I can really make an impact. Well, for the most part, anyway. I still have "one of those days" from time to time :)