Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Please support a good thing

I like the Geranium Farm, and not just because the first plant I ever planted and grew successfully was a geranium. That the plant grew and survived and tolerated being hauled around from classroom to home and eventually to dorm rooms and back again was probably more a testament to the generosity and durability of the geranium rather than to my gardening skills. So I have fondness for the things.

Here is what Barbara Cawthorne Crafton says about Geraniums:
What a thing to say about geraniums. Salt of the earth, geraniums: solid citizens of the plant world, faithful friends of humanity. More than a century of service without a murmur in the windows of countless public schools, growing taller and spindlier than most supermodels from straining for the light, neglected over vacations until somebody tosses an offhanded Dixie cup of water onto their gasping roots. But pinch them down and they set blooms in a day or two, so grateful for the attention that they don't complain about the amputation. Most people should be so stalwart.

They don't smell good. They don't smell good? Geraniums smell glorious! They smell of dusty sunlight, of the tangy, spicy energy of life. They eschew the effete sweetness of other flowers, flowers that pander to our indolence. Geraniums smell militantly beautiful, a smell of productivity under extreme circumstances, a smell that says Don't bother about me, I'll be all right. Take care of the weaker ones. Geraniums never whine about insects and fungi. They take care of themselves. You don't have to hover over them like an anxious nurse, begging them to grow, feeding them special treats. Not geraniums. No, no thanks, they say, I just ate, really. Couldn't touch another bite.
In my humble opinion Barbara's daily e-mo's, and her other work on retreats and meditations, belong in that unique and wonderful form of American literature that is occupied by the likes Will Rogers, Garrison Keillor and James Thurber...people who find humor and grace in even the most everyday things, only with a decidedly gentle Christian view. She writes about vestry-meetings, life with cats, and baking things. She writes about everyday encounters with with ordinary things that show us the love and power of God. God shows up here; so, yes, God shows up everywhere. Incarnation is like that.

Barbara has also gathered around her a talented group of people who love to write, cook, pray and create. It is one of my daily stops in my own morning devotions.

The Farm shows me that even my fallibilities, limitations and foibles are used and usable by God. The Farm is full of funny, gentle, touching and sometimes pointed reminders that the fullness of the Incarnation is often found in the most everyday things.

So here is my plea. My unsolicited plug. The Geranium Farm doesn't charge for you to read it and you don't need to subscribe. Like a lot of us who write, create and toil on these cyber-communities, we are happy to offer what we offer with the prayer that it might make a difference. Sometimes we write because we can't help it. We love it and are called to the keyboard. But The Farm is more than one person's blog. It really is a ministry and a community. So together, gentle Christians, let's support a good thing. It doesn't take much money to keep the Farm going, but it does take some. If you find the Geranium Farm refreshing and renewing, please support it.

Here is what Barbara said at the end of today's e-Mo:
In 2007, the Geranium Farm conducted a modest online fund drive, and we received enough donations to pay all our bills for more than a year -- Internet expense, travel, modest office expenses and (full disclosure) Barbara Crafton's pension payments. Now it's 2009, and we are finally running low on the nest egg that Farmers so generously provided two years ago. This year we will again host an event at the Episcopal Church's General Convention, which will have a modest cost. If the eMos, the HodgePodge, Ways of the World, sermon and ER&D meditations, prayer candles -- all of the interesting mix that is the Farm -- matters to you as it does to thousands of readers worldwide, might you consider sending a small gift to help it all continue? Visit the donations page at or send a check to The Geranium Farm, 387 MIddlesex Avenue, Metuchen NJ 08840. We would be very grateful.

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