You know that feeling you get on Thanksgiving? When you’ve been putting together a savory meal, you’re dressed and the kids are all ready? You head over excited to share your tasty dish with some of your favorite loved ones. The anticipation of hearing jokes from a silly uncle, or some sarcasm from a witty aunt. Watching how your nieces and nephews have grown, watching some of them take their first steps even. That feeling you get as soon as you step in the door at your grandmother’s house, and you know you’re home. You’re loved.
That’s the best way to describe Gather in the Garden. Every month on the first Wednesday, I get to have Thanksgiving all over again with my Sunflower family. Not that it’s always easy to get there, rounding up two boys tired from a full day at Seedlings, or trying to hurry and cook after a helper day and get changed in time.. Still, it’s perfect in every way…
The magical feeling of love and fun all wrapped together as you pull up knowing you’re in for a good time, or a shoulder to cry on if you’ve had a tough day. It’s especially sweet this time of year as the sun sets, and dusk sets in. The sky is dark yet filled with light from all the love that is shared here.
Kids running about with the excitement and natural wonder that only the valley can bring, the newness of watching the shapes and shadows change from day to night. The warmth and security of all the people they know only steps away ready to aid in their imagination and lend to their excitement. A few suggestions even to help amp up their play!
The comforting smell of all the different dishes and spices fills the air, with chatter from all directions on different recipe’s and baking tips. It seems no matter what the week or month has brought my way, I can count on an empathetic smile or a warm hug from a friend here. I look forward to the renewal this brings to each month, with new experiences as well as challenges.
Community is an integral part to building healthy families. Support is important in helping to grow young families, and nurture the mature families. Breaking bread in fellowship fosters an important connection between people. All of these are keystones to a functioning environment for growing children and parents to thrive. All of these are the pillars of which Sunflower Creative Arts builds their community on. However, Gather in the Garden is so much more than that. In the middle of this foundation they’ve built is an actual garden. The seed was planted, given food and water and love grew.
Sunflower hasn’t just created a community, they’ve grown a family.
Gather in the Garden is a community potluck that takes place in the Sunflower Learning Garden the second Saturday of each month, September through May. More info here.
Post by Erika Villalobos
Photos by Meade Peers McCoy