It’s summertime, and for many folks that means vegetable gardens and an overabundance of cucumbers, zucchini and other fresh veggies and the challenge of what to do with the bounty of their harvest. Me, I’m not a gardener. Oh I sure enjoy some garden-ripe tomatoes, hot peppers and fresh basil, but my time for attempting to grow these things on my own has passed. But luckily I have a plentiful farm stand in close proximity and the benefit of knowing folks who plant their own, because every year around this time, those folks over-run with canning and pickling begin to donate the excess to non-gardeners like myself. They know I can cook and I appreciate the fresh produce, so in a ritual not unlike that of finding a good home for a litter of kittens they begin sharing the bounty with others.
What brings this to mind actually, is this morning, I regretfully and furtively donated a giant zucchini which I had received last week from my neighbor to the trash can. It was starting to turn and the fruit flies it was creating was starting to get a bit overwhelming, but I do hate to throw away food. It is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and something I do not do lightly, but that is a different matter altogether. This blog is about sharing. I was thinking that the summer garden ritual is metaphorically not dissimilar to another phenomenon. Here’s what I mean…
What’s the point of letting the fruits of our existence rot on the vine, when there is someone out there that could benefit from that which we ourselves have an over-abundance of? There are so many opportunities out there for “spreading the love” a little, for giving of our own unique talents and abilities to benefit and help others, but some people keep their “light” under a bushel” and do not let it out to shine both for their own personal benefit and for others. It’s a shame, really. In some ways it’s as if, by keeping our talents to ourselves, we are not just missing the opportunity to live life to our fullest potential, but are depriving others of the benefits of what we have to offer as well. You don’t need me to spell it out for you too specifically, I think you can get there on your own, and truthfully who knows better than you what you have to offer?
Just consider it for a moment – each of us has a gift we can share. It may be a little talent, a service, a donation, a skill or a kind word, but it is there somewhere. And if the alternative to giving it away is to keep it quietly hidden; that is as useful as garden full of ripened fruit, rotting in an unattended garden. And when you share what you have, not only do you brighten the life of the beneficiary but of yourself as well. Feed your soul and reap the harvest of life’s possibilities.