Thursday is quickly becoming my favorite day of the week. For years I have watched my friends and family participate in local summer CSA farm food shares. (For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it stands for “community supported agriculture” and it essentially means that by signing up to buy fresh veggies each week during the summer months you are helping to support local farms and benefiting from the organic produce that they grow.)  For some reason I always learned about it after the fact and until this year I had never been able to participate. Last fall, deep in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic and unsure of what the future would hold, I was intrigued by the opportunity to feel more grounded and connected with the earth. I also loved the idea of supporting local farmers since the economic outlook at that time was quite bleak decided to sign up for a share of the 63rd Street Farm in Boulder and my pick-up day is Thursday afternoon and I now find myself looking forward to it each week.

There is something special about the people who work on farms. They are grounded in a way that is different from those of us who work in an office. They are dealing with the realities of unpredictable weather, including storms and drought, and somehow must figure out how to manage it all. It is a labor of love and I have gratitude for their efforts and enthusiasm. Each week hundreds of people show up with their reusable bags to collect their seasonal vegetables and the choices are always something unique and delicious. It has allowed me to taste new vegetables and experiment with recipes that I have never tried before. A lot of attention and detail goes into the 63rd Street Farm’s weekly newsletter and I’m always amazed by what I learn.

As I stood waiting to pick out my veggies last week, I began talking to one of the staff members. We discussed how hard they work to plant and harvest the veggies and what a special process it is. I wanted to give back to these “farm angels” in a meaningful way, so I offered to gift them some Wallaroo hats. Keeping them protected from the hot sun while they were working in the field was the least I could do to help support them. The following week, I took hats with me when I went to collect my share of veggies and I was met with unadulterated enthusiasm. The staff could not have been more appreciative, and I am pleased to be able to give back to them in this way.

As I drove away from the farm, windows down, wind blowing through my hair, I was reminded that there is so much beauty in life. This past year, we have been isolated, shut down, fearful and unsure of the future, but today I felt a spark of joy and an abundance of gratitude for this thing we call life. It is uncertain and difficult to navigate at times, but we have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to. I’m glad that I’m starting to find that joy again and it is my hope that we can all begin to find it and start to share it again. Love and joy are infectious and do best when shared with others.

Take time to find yourself again and enjoy being outside and in touch with nature. Despite the hardships we have all faced, there is still a lot of beauty surrounding us if we take the time to look for it. Happy summer and stay healthy and safe.