I have recently been reading a book called The Noticer. Today the term "victory gardens" jumped off the page and caused me to dig a little deeper (no pun intended). Though I know they were talking about a literal garden, I immediately saw an analogy, waiting to be unearthed.
Historically, Victory Gardens were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences during WW I and WW II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a "morale booster" in that gardeners could feel empowered by contributions of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. In the United States they sprung up in backyards, on apartment building rooftops, in vacant lots, in sections of lawn in New York City and San Francisco Golden Gate Park. Even Eleanor Roosevelt instituted a Victory Garden on the White House grounds.
Today there is a return to planting "Victory Gardens." Many have found great rewards in helping others, growing their own food, the physical exercise that it provides, the connection to their parents and grandparents and easing some of the stress of these difficult economic times. A growing number have increased the size of their gardens by at least a third so that they can help feed other people. They have in essence, been growing to give to others.
So… it got me to thinking. Do I have a garden of victories? Where are they springing up? Do I use the successes or triumphs over an enemy or a battle to bring encouragement to others? Are my victories a "morale booster" to others? Fruits and vegetables, harvested in the traditional "victory garden" contain the very nourishment that each of us need to be healthy and strong. If we think of our symbolic victory gardens, are we growing fruit in order to give to others? Does the fruit of our labor bring health and nourishment to those around us?
In these challenging times, many people have found many different ways to be there for each other. A sense of community and understanding is fostered as many of us experience the same battles. Whether you are sharing food from a victory garden, or the strength of your triumphs in your symbolic victory garden, let's be the type of people that increase the size of our gardens in order to feed others.
Now, more than ever, your victories count! Take good care of each other!