Wednesday, June 17, 2009

gratitude in the strawberry patch

Today I worked in the garden.  With all the rain we've been having, the air was humid and misty. As I picked up the garden tool and started to clear some ground to plant my strawberries the feeling took me straight back to when Fairb and I lived in the village in Africa.  In Kenya, a handheld garden hoe is called a "jembe" and they use it to cultivate everything, acres and acres of land with a small tool. I swung a jembe quite often in Kenya, but never has a jembe been my only means to feed my family.  How overly grateful I am that I can plant this garden full knowing I can still buy food at the store.  How grateful I am that while I worked in this garden I don't have a small baby strapped to my back; my children are being appeased with video games and popsicles inside my home. Today, I woke up to a call from my neighbor bearing the bad news that there was a dog party on her lawn and each dog had a baby kitten. The garage door was left open, leaving the kitten vulnerable to prey.  I could see the sorrow in the the mama cats eyes that she couldn't protect her litter (two she did protect).  I have seen that same sorrow in the eyes of mothers in Africa. Almost no mother in the village is lucky enough to have all her children survive. I mothers life in the village is sorrow. They struggle every day to take care of their family.  I am talking struggle! Not give me some zoloft, my credit is bad struggle, but struggle to feed, cloth, keep healthy and educate their children. Even the most poor people in the United States of America is living large compared to the true poverty in other parts of the world like Africa.  
I feel very grateful, very blessed. I wish that any mother in this country, during this economic crisis, who feels woe could witness the life of a mother in Africa, and they will be screaming gratitude from the tops of the mountains.  I think I will go out and shout right now.

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