Back to the Earth

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:0 2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:"ヒラギノ角ゴ Pro W3"; mso-font-charset:78; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:16777216 0 117702657 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:"Geeza Pro"; panose-1:0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} p.Body1, li.Body1, div.Body1 {mso-style-name:"Body 1"; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; mso-outline-level:1; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; color:black;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} – Having grown up in New England, when I first moved to California I missed the changing of the seasons. However, after fifteen years in the Golden State, I’ve become accustomed to the subtle changes that mark the seasons, noticing the movement from cold and rainy season to the invigorating air of spring that brings with it the aromas of new life budding. There is something therapeutic about the rhythm of the seasons and it is important to utilize this natural movement in addressing the needs of the children and youth we serve.
This past week a handful of our residents, led by Art Director Kim Ha and staff, accompanied by wonderful volunteers from our H100 group, joined forces with the Armory Center for theArts to build the FARMory, an educational garden. They cleared a vacant lot in Pasadena to begin the process of transforming it from a derelict parcel to an urban garden that will provide fruits, vegetables and flowers. What a great exercise to celebrate the beginning of spring, filling all involved with the hope of seeing their efforts yield much benefit.
This is such an important activity for those we serve. Often consumed by their own hurts, they fail to appreciate what they can do to make a difference. Preoccupied with concerns that are burdensome, this activity offers the kind of distraction that allows these young people to learn how they can channel their energy to transform what was abandoned. Surrounded by extraordinarily generous and selfless people, they learn, by their example, that they are part of a community that values them.
Springtime is about transformation and this wonderful opportunity was indeed transformative for all involved. Their efforts will bring about new life. The results will far exceed the harvest of this once abandoned parcel of land.
For many of us, this week is a time of religious celebrations recalling our own efforts to be transformed in heart and spirit to lead fuller lives. In our own way at Hillsides, we join with all who cherish this great season of new birth, confident that our many efforts to transform the lives of those we serve will lead to a new life for them filled with hope.
Happy Easter and a Blessed Passover!

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