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Holding Chaos and Transformation

Sharing Bread course participants hold up their sprouting pea seeds following the final worship service at the Sorrento Centre.

July 14, 2015

By Suzanne Rumsey

July 11, 2015
By Suzanne Rumsey

A seed is planted, watered and tended.  For a time, those of us who live above ground wonder what, if anything, is going on underground.  According to the Sufi poet, Rumi, there is a whole lot of activity and chaos going on.  And then one day, there is transformation.  The seed breaks open, sprouts up through the earth as evidence of all that has been going on hidden and unseen.

A caterpillar eats and eats and eats until one day, unseen cellular change wraps it in a cocoon where it’s transformation to the beautiful butterfly it will become, occurs.

These two images of transformation, one offered at our opening worship at Sorrento by Louise Peters, the Centre’s executive director, and the other by Dan Hines, one of the week’s course leaders at our closing worship, framed our week.  Dan reminded us that transformation can often be a difficult process; one that like the caterpillar, we sometimes resist with every fibre of our being.

The food security education work we call “Sharing Bread” that Sheilagh and I designed and piloted a year ago at Sorrento and redesigned to share again this year with partners, volunteers and others has involved a whole lot of activity and chaos(!) in its planning, some difficult moments as we’ve struggled with the challenges and complexities facing our partners and ourselves when it comes to food security, and some grace-filled, “ah ha” moments of transformation.

Several times over the course of the week, the connections between food, food security and community were made; affirming the words of Jean Vanier from which “sharing bread” became the name for our learning exchange:

“The word ‘accompaniment,’ like the word ‘companion,’ comes from the Latin words
cum pane, which mean ‘with bread.’ It implies sharing together, eating together, nourishing each other, walking together… We human beings need to walk together, encouraging each other to continue the journey of growth and the struggle for liberation…”

We are grateful to the Sorrento Centre for providing us with the space and place to share bread, and to accompany one another as we sought to transform the world and to transform ourselves.  We are grateful to our partners Geoffrey and Joyce who came to be with us for a time on our journey towards transformation.  And we are grateful to all those who participated in our time of learning together.

A seed is planted and then…

In memory of Chris Lind, Sorrento Centre’s former executive director, who invited PWRDF into this collaboration and who died one year ago today.  Chris Lind… Presente.

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