Growing Seeds of Love: SE Denver & Boulder, CO
Inspired by the One Million (OM) Sai Trees initiative (https://sathyasai.us/tree-planting), the World Human Values Day in April, and the desire to uplift families and communities in need, twenty-five members of the Sri Sathya Sai Centers of Southeast Denver and Boulder, CO, gathered for a weekend of growing seeds of love.
The joyful festivities began on April 15 with a Walk for Values event, highlighting the universal human values of love, peace, truth, among many. While walking with human values signs held high, a passing neighbor sang out in response, ‘All we need is love, da-da-da-da-da’, bringing smiles to every face. The Walk ended with an inspiring presentation by a young adult on the impact of planting community gardens for poor urban neighborhoods – how they lead to a more equitable sharing of resources, healthy food options, culturally relevant choices, and the joy of nurturing life. She described the wonderful opportunity to put love into action the next day by building a community garden for a local family shelter. This captured the imagination of everyone in the room, igniting an enthusiasm to get to work the next day. The evening closed with sharing a meal in gratitude for the opportunity to serve.
The following morning, fifteen participants met at a local family shelter, excited with the anticipation of making a meaningful difference. With love as the secret ingredient, breakfast burritos were made and shared as a savory treat to fuel both shelter residents and Sai volunteers alike. After a unison prayer, the volunteers began eagerly to remove weeds from the ground, clearing the way to create six garden beds. A fence was then built around the beds to protect the garden from possible wildlife visitations. One vibrant young adult reflected that the action of pulling the weeds was akin to pulling out the vices of anger, jealousy, and hatred. Each of the beds were filled with rich soil, sprinkled with Vibhuti (Sacred Ash) and a few grains of sacred rice to bless the plants that would grow in the gardens. Singing spiritual songs brought joy to the entire process.
Finally, the crown jewel of the day was planting a maple tree as part of the SAI 100 Initiative, in honor of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s 100th Birthday celebration. Digging deep into the ground to create space for the roots to take hold, the ‘tree of life and love’ was planted with sprinkles of Vibhuti (Sacred Ash), while songs of gratitude and prayer filled the air. Tree stakes were placed to strengthen the tree’s growth and a fence of protection was built around the tree trunk. One joy-filled participant shouted, “May the love of a thousand mothers sustain you!” Laughing in joy, the group chimed in with a hearty ‘Sai Ram!"
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