This afternoon, I walked into the Good Shepherd Cottage and saw on the kitchen counter big squashes and cucumbers of different shapes and colors. “Someone’s family must have dropped these off for us,” I thought. Then, as one of our staff members walked by, I asked “Where did all of this come from?” “They’re from our garden, Sister!” She replied.
Just six short months ago we moved into the Good Shepherd Cottage. It seems like a distant memory, but in that brief time there has been so much more than just vegetables growing! Our family is growing in size, and each day the residents grow in their friendships. It is not uncommon to see them driving out of the parking lot together, headed for the beauty shop, or sitting on the porch drinking coffee and chatting or watching a good ball game together in someone’s room.
The staff is growing, too. Today, when I asked how they knew to pick the squash, I was told: “One of the residents grew up on a farm, Sister. She used to milk 24 cows a day. When she saw those squash, she knew they were ready for picking.” The knowledge and life experience of our residents is forming the staff and teaching us all about more than just squash! In the day-to-day experience of living and working together, the ‘life’ that is overflowing from our garden boxes is just an external sign of the growth that is happening within each soul here at Santa Teresita.