Thursday, May 17, 2012
I love it when a plan starts to come together....
I moved my family here about 10 months ago - full of ideas that were hazy, hopes that were a little thin and very little idea what it would take to really get settled in a new place. It's been hard, and more than a little stressful, but this week I'm really feeling some pieces begin to fall into place.
This economy has seen a lot of changes for a lot of people, and I know lots of folks are having trouble getting adequate/appropriate/fulfillin
g/or just plain paying work. I knew that I had to be pretty creative to get work - and I've worked for many months to get things in place. Things have turned out a little differently than I expected, and better than I could have hoped. I feel like all my disparate goals and interests are really beginning to come together.
I started work this week at an amazing garden - the Trent University Rooftop and field garden. We produce food for a campus restaurant, to donate to a local humanitarian group and for the volunteers who work at the garden. It's a permaculture garden - sustainable, organic and self-sustaining. The rooftop garden is about 1/3 of an acre ABOVE the spectacular Trent Campus, overlooking the incredibly lovely Otonabee river, and the field garden is nearby. I get to teach new gardeners how to produce food for themselves and their families. I STRONGLY believe that people should have access to food, and the means to produce their own food, so that they can be powerful, autonomous and secure. I also believe that people who have access to land that they control in their community are more likely to care for, contribute to, and look after that community. I'm about as giddy as a person could be over a job!!
I've been pursuing teaching First Aid and, I have to tell you, it's tougher than I thought it would be. And, in the spirit of 'everything seems to work out the way it should...' I'm studying, preparing and working towards teaching - but in the slightly more distant future. This is ok - this is as it should be.
I've also been pursuing work as a respite worker, caring for children or adults with special needs. So tonight I went to a meet and greet for respite workers and families - it was a wonderful experience! Most of the families have children (varying ages) with either developmental disorders (like ADHD, Austism, Downs...) or medical conditions (stroke, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy...) I can safely say that full time work (and then some) has been sewed up for the summer... but more than that, I am really excited about doing it!!! I met some absolutely inspirational families. Strong, creative, dedicated... I am absolutely floored at the calibre of parenting that I witnessed. And of course, I can never complain about the picky eating, arguments or other trivial parenting challenges I may face again. There but for the grace of God... I end the day feeling tired, fortunate and grateful.
On top of that, I had SUCH a nice day with my hubby. We built a little garden off the side of the house (for his special peppers, eggplant and heirloom tomatoes). Then we went to the Wednesday market and bought some of said plants. We also bumped in to a bunch of people that we (separately) know, and got to introduce each other to these disparate parts of our lives. Then he made me a to-die-for omelette for lunch. Mmmmm.... chef husband.... mmmmm.... Then I picked my DS up early and took him for a haircut and treated him to new pokemon cards. A lovely day indeed.
Tomorrow DH has a 'tryout' for a cook job, then we'll meet up to train for work at a local organic food coop. After that we're off to the gardens to haul compost from the field to the roof. I imagine Brian will head home for a nap while I hang out for probably a good six hours of weeding... and I can't WAIT! lol!
So, I had a great life in Mississauga. I was deeply involved in my community, doing work that I cared about and that I felt mattered (entirely unpaid, mind you, but I could afford to). My life was all set up the way I liked it - and I was concerned about getting to that point EVER again in this new town.
But, 10 months in, I have a 90+ average in University, about to begin the program of my dreams. I work with youth in my community, helping them pursue their goals, learning about service and social justice. I'm helping to build a new school and community garden, producing fresh food for local families and teaching children how to grow food for themselves. I'm producing food for and with students, families, homeless people and to support a fantastic restaurant. I have the privilege of supporting some of the strongest, most resourceful and inspiring families in caring for their exceptional children...
I am fortunate to have a lovely home, a healthy family, friends and neighbours that I like and enjoy, work that fulfils me and pays my bills, and a community that I love and am proud to support. What on EARTH a girl could wish for above this - I can't even imagine.