As someone who has worked on organic farms, let me tell you: transplanting is a risky job. Your baby plant has set roots in a warm and humid greenhouse, is pulled out, and shoved firmly into the earth. The soil is different! The lighting, strange. The neighbors, unfamiliar. The biggest danger is shock. A plant will wilt and wither from the inability to fit into its new landscape. The effect might be temporary. It might be permanent. And yet more often than not, the leaves unfurl and the flowers bloom and growth occurs: ripe, green, glowing growth.
In the few years since graduating from college, I have experienced some damaging transplants of my own. I have moved four times, traveled stateside and abroad, tried several jobs, made friends and left them, gone home and said goodbye again. After trying a term of service in the Dominican Republic developing environmental education, I spent a full season interning at an organic farm in Colorado. While neither 'transplant' held me for more than a years' time, the experiences certainly contributed to my growth. I am not sure there is such a thing as a perfect place. One half of my soul pulls me to keep searching for it anyway. The other half of my soul encourages me to embrace settling in my roots around the imperfections.
But roots can take shape in other ways. Relationships take root in my heart. My spiritual learnings and discoveries create deep-rooted ideals and beliefs. While at times I can feel uprooted or face a challenging transplant, I can remain grounded to people, to causes, to choices, actions. This is where the Krista Foundation comes in. They are the tomato stake that supports my gangly green service limbs. The Krista Colleagues are a network of supporters to remind me that, in spite of the risks, I can still be grounded in a community based on nurturing a service leadership that inspires social justice.
This Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28) the Krista Foundation is putting on a conference with a theme I can relate to: Growing in Service Leadership: Rooted for Life. If you're at all like me, your very being resonates with the idea that serving our community stretches beyond a single event or commitment; it is simply a way of living that filters through to everything you do.
Come on Saturday or Sunday as a guest to support and connect with the Krista Colleagues. Come to participate in workshops that tackle practical, personal, social, and timeless issues in the world of serving our communities. This year, I have the opportunity to co-lead a workshop about how to live simply and eat well. Anthony DeLorenzo, a colleague from 2008, called me on the phone and we buzzed like bees with ideas and excitement about how and what to bring to the workshop. This is what it's all about: the exchange of ideas, the thrill of moving forward, the beauty of dwelling in place, and the humble commitment to intentional choices. The connections we foster lead to the most universally shared attribute of living things: growth. We live because we grow. And we grow when we give thought, intention, time, and love to the causes and communities rooted in our souls.
I hope to meet you at the Conference!