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Operation-365 / Interview 192: “I’ve Got Zucchini To Plant”

Everywhere I look Saint Patrick’s Day green is in my eye-line. The auditorium is full of color and action. The diversity is vast and everyone from kids to grandparents participate in the merriment. Even my wife takes a run at the Velcro wall, and to credit her athletic skills, manages to stick strong to its balloon walled surface.

There must be hundreds of people in attendance, and one observation I can note with the greatest of conviction: all are united this day in enjoying a community celebration of bounce, run and play.

After the climbing wall I settle a bench with corned beef sandwich in hand (I mean mouth), my wife and daughter leaving me to embark on my friend finding mission by myself. After all, as social as they can be, they need to finish their gladiator grudge match on the balloon pedestals.

Here I remain, perched on the top level of the gymnasium bleachers, appreciating the last bites of my Irish fare. It’s like sitting at the top of a platform that has been consecrated for the purpose of people watching.

And from this high up perch I begin my rationalization: “The stilted guy looks pretty cool! What about the not-so-dressed-in-green (Irish?) belly dancers? No, better yet, the Dick Van Dyke look-alike?!”

I wipe the last of the rye crumbs from my chin and ready myself for a stroll. Yet my path is unexpectedly halted when a gentleman grabs a seat near where I am stationed.

“How are you,” I reach out and as I do, a reflection occurs to me; words that were given to me by one of you, my 365 readers. That comment went something like this: “I love the stories of the real people you find. And that so many are everyday people who have very interesting things to say.”

All of a sudden the dancer, stilts and faux-celebrities are not that interesting to me anymore, and the desire to approach them has been replaced with a need to chat with the stranger sitting to my right.

“How would you like to be part of a humanistic outreach project?” I invite in explaining 365.

Over conversation of family and events my now not-stranger has become my friend of the moment, and with the comfort of knowing our families are enjoying activities as we rest on the bleachers, my new buddy, Leo, talks of his wishes for the world.

“Don’t waste resources, save everything, natural resources, conserve energy, and don’t waste time on things you don’t need to do. Too many people even waste too much food.”

I think of my refrigerator at home and check myself to positively eat all the leftovers from this week’s meals.

On December 17 our environmentalist friend Bronwyn, “Treat the planet right,” put us on the WordPress map with her words of council, “We need to push a little harder in doing our part.”

Leo exemplifies her caution, “I’d like to see a day when every family becomes a producer of what they can use. Things like planting gardens and cultivating fruits and vegetables.”

We talk of not only the obvious positive agricultural contribution, but also of the health benefits of freshly and organically grown produce.

This whole garden concept is one that my family and I have embarked on from time to time. And I tell you; the benefits are beyond the expected. I can own with full integrity that in growing our own food we not only ate healthier, but the money savings as well as the unity and shared work ethic grew my family closer in ways that are beyond dollars and time.

Our planet in finite, and as Bronwyn and Leo are gesturing, we can all make a powerfully positive footprint for the safety of our planet. It’s in the little gestures, that we, if combined in numbers, can bring to pass a measurable impact en route to the healing of planet Earth.

How many of us choose to feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the deterioration of our limited resources?

Leo provides us a task. A task that is absolutely possible on a macro level. One that is even socially edifying and good for the mind, body and spirit. Simply… “Plant what you can eat.”

“Don’t waste resources, save everything,” Leo lives what he preaches; it is in his eyes, his words and by the looks of his healthy physique, it is in his lifestyle.

Guess it’s time for me to find the rototiller, I’ve got Zucchini to plant.

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