Rites of Passage


by Gretchen Mead, Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Once or twice per month I receive an email from someone whose soul is on fire. S/he is burning on the inside—flipping through seed catalogues, netflixing food documentaries in rapid succession, locating every farmers market in town, trying new recipes—her heart beating ever so loudly to live a life that has deeper meaning.

This burning goes with her everywhere: in line at the bank; project managing for ABC Corp; while ordering a pizza. At night, there comes an intangible longing for more—deeper community; healthier living; kinder, gentler interactions; depth and presence. The chatter in the back of the mind is loudening and the heart requires a response. The dissonance between values and lifestyle grows. And then this person emails me:

“Dear Gretchen,

I have been thinking about the work you do for a long time. I currently work at ABC Corp. I go to work every day to pay the bills, but I need something more. I need to find a way to change to live the life that I believe in.”

This person is a Food Leader waiting to happen, they just don’t know it—yet. They don’t know that they can live the life they want.

I have a theory about this fire and our Midwestern sensibilities. We Midwesterners hold this fire back; we suppress it for as long as we can. We say things to ourselves like, “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t have the money,” or “I’m not that kind of person.” We ponder, “Who am I to call myself a leader? Who am I to make a difference?”

My question to you is this: Who are you NOT to act on your deepest desire to live a life that fuels your soul’s fire?

You are blessed with a burning fire in your heart that drives you to do something more.

Read the rest of the article on the Victory Garden Initiative Blog:

Victory Garden Initiative builds communities that grow their own food, creating a community-based, socially just, environmentally sustainable, nutritious food system for all.