September 19, 2011

Small Ways to Make a Difference

Although I have been busy lately, I am thankful for the opportunities I have to do things that I love, to spend time with great people and to continue along on my path. I know that not everyone is so lucky, and safety, comfort, and normalcy can be taken away in an instant by forces way beyond their control. I'm not sure if it is because news and images from around the world are so quickly and readily available but sometimes it seems that there has been one tragedy after another -- from earthquakes to tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding that have interrupted or drastically changed people's lives.

Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am that I have remained safe from the harsh and indifferent forces of nature and even from much of the the cruelty of life. It can be hard to even comprehend what people near and far have had to go through. Because I have so much to be thankful for, I feel the importance of doing what I can to give back and perhaps make a very small difference in the face of something so big.

Last week El, from Fresh New England, wrote about Vermont and the devastation that hurricane Irene left to this small and beautiful state. El baked a beautiful Love Vermont fudge cake and asked others to do the same to show that we care about Vermont and other places that have been touched by disaster and tragedy. I really really wanted to bake, but this was a very busy week and I didn't have time to make something chocolatey and delicious. Fortunately, baking is not the only way we can help. El has created a page of other ways to show that we Love Vermont.

Although I have never seen some of the places affected by tragedy with my own eyes, I still wish I could help. Vermont, on the other hand, is a place that I know. Not all of it, but I will always fondly remember the time I spent as an apprentice in the market garden at Shelburne Farms. On the shores of Lake Champlain I got to know a part of beautiful green state, made some wonderful friends, and began my love of growing food and making everything from scratch. Now I think of my friends in Vermont and those places far away and hope that I can help in some small way.

In thinking about the challenges that people and the world face, I have come to believe that we all must find what truly brings us joy and in doing that, living that, we will make the world a better place. I have recently come across other projects that bloggers have created to make a difference where their passion lies such as this book and this website. Whether you choose to bake, share food with someone in need, volunteer, make a donation, there are so many ways to help and to bring more joy the the world.


  1. Driving through Vermont this past weekend, I was again reminded of the amazing beauty of the state. So so so green, everywhere!

    Flood waters had receded where I was, but traces of the devastation were sprinkled across the landscape in muddy patches.

    I love the idea of being an apprentice for anything whatsoever - almost as much as I am enthused by the idea of belonging to a guild. These terms sound so medieval, and so lovely.

  2. And oh my gosh you lived in Portland before moving to St Paul - we are Almost Opposites!

  3. Emma,

    Thanks for the update on VT. I hope you are enjoying life in Maine. Are you from Minnesota? I do miss Maine in the fall, although it is nice here, too.