Monthly Archives: October 2015

Service: Feeding the Hunger to Give and Make a Difference

Hungry Bowls

Choose Your Bowl

Last Saturday I wiped clean my bowl of robust vegan mushroom soup with a hearty crust of bread.  Every morsel was worth savoring.  Not only because of the pleasing texture and taste, but  because of the occasion’s intent.

The Second Annual Hungry Bowls gathering, a local re-creation of the international Empty Bowls effort, raises awareness and money for Carroll County’s Flint Street and Loaves and Fishes Food Banks. The event is powered by my neighbor, Jim Wallace, and other area potters who handcraft hundreds of soup bowls and pull together the community dinner.

Jerry Jones and Friends$20 buys Hungry Bowl attendees a unique bowl of one’s choosing, a meal of soup and bread donated by local restaurants, and an evening of good company along with the toe-tapping music of Jerry Jones and Friends. All celebrated in the Eureka Springs High School cafeteria.  Simple.  Down home.

Potters Doug Powell and Jim Wallace

Potters Doug Powell and Jim Wallace

In this “click for a cause” world of online protests and petitions, I find real-time, tangible place, local flavor, neighbor-helping-neighbor efforts vitally refreshing and effective both in spirit and action. Hungry Bowls puts food on tables during the economically challenging winter months.  One one hand it doesn’t directly confront causes of the hunger scourge — income inequality, societal priorities, food waste,etc.  But on another it strikes at the very heart of the matter by releasing our human capacity for mutual awareness, practical action and cooperative effort.  And by nourishing our innate desire to give and make a difference.

What local effort is your Heart feeding and being fed by these days?

Wisdom: Experience’s Harvest

acornsNever have I seen acorns so plentiful and plump.  Hundreds upon hundreds cover the decks and gardens surrounding my home.

Even as I write, these lushly ripe oak offerings ping onto the earthy-red metal roof.  They zip into the worn wooden porch with a pop and a roll, reminding me of successful sounds emanating from a baseball batting cage.

I’m reminded too of the abundant harvest yielded by Life’s challenges. In particular the harvest of Wisdom: that reaping of Knowledge gleaned through seasons of experience and stored in the Heart like so many acorns, ready to nourish and to provide sustenance in the form of counsel, or action or non-action.

On a personal note, it seems fitting to me that I completed the final legal and financial release between myself and the spiritual community of which I was apart for many years, during this season of acorns.  The unwinding and rebuilding of the past many months wasn’t something I consciously asked for, but looking back I’m grateful for the struggle, the losses and all that has been gained — the lessons in forgiveness, strength, letting go, embracing, friendship, risking, and healing.  We’ll see what wisdom comes.