Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cold Runs & Community Gardens

And I knew that it was better to live out one's absurdity than to die for that of others.
Ralph Ellison

This week, the city announced that there were only 97 house fires on Halloween night this year (this trend peaked at more than 800 fires on Halloween in the late 90s) and one investor bought more than 6,000 properties in Detroit for $3.2 million. Speaking of absurdity, we awoke Saturday to 35-degree weather and, promptly, joined others from the neighborhood in a Day of the Dead 5k/10k run. The course weaved through Southwest Detroit, including two cemeteries.

Later in the afternoon, we joined our friend Luke at his community garden for the seasonal planting of garlic. Luke started this plot a couple of years ago in a vacant lot just a few blocks from our street. He has set up a water catchment system (although, this year, he didn't need to use any water because it rained so much) and continues to learn new techniques from the large community garden network in the city. Over the past two months, we have been gifted with plenty of fresh kale, tomatoes and raspberries.

Lindsay continues to put significant hours into the water struggle with We The People Of Detroit. She was in charge of moving the water hotline office from a building in the New Center neighborhood of the city to the Ecumenical Theological Seminary closer to downtown. Our friend Jim Perkinson, featured in previous posts, teaches at ETS and was able to get a room next to the pulpit in the sanctuary donated for We The People to use as office space. We look forward to the continuing cross-pollination of work and relationships that promises to flow from this new set-up.

Tom is still biking to work at the church, volunteering at the soup kitchen on Tuesday mornings and getting ample time to write. We continue to experience a city characterized by both devastation and delight. There are fresh surprises around every corner.

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