There is a song that has resonated in my mind today. Its chorus says:

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Our fence vision

Today, we started the process of making something beautiful out of things not  very beautiful. We are making a pallet fence for the community garden.

As we have found, pallets come in various sizes and — when used and given away free of charge — various states of disrepair. But we have limited funds for the garden and need a way to secure the produce people grow in their own plots from people who would simply like to wander in and snack on a fresh tomato in the night.

We need 80 pallets to create the fence for this year’s garden build (about 1/3 of the fully planned garden site). Today was the first day we had to assess the pallets gathered so far and begin work to prepare for the fence.

ZoeSome pallets are in excellent condition and required no initial preparation. Other pallets had one or two broken slats that required us to pull off the slats, remove nails, and replace the slats. Finally, some pallets were simply not usable as pallets, but could be disassembled for their parts to help make other pallets whole. Just like that song, we are making beautiful things out of what is essentially dust — things that don’t look very great.

work3It was quite a job, and it took us six hours to do this work today. We had a volunteer (Hannah) from another city who needed community service hours for her high school graduation requirement, along with 10 others from our church. We are so grateful for the service of all who came and pitched in, no matter their level of experience.

At the end of the day, we had 68 complete pallets that are ready for the next step of the fence process.

But more than that, we had a spontaneous call to work and people stepped up to answer that call. Folks came together and worked cohesively to achieve a long-term vision; today they didn’t see the end result, but they gave of themselves so that greatness can be achieved. And that is a beautiful thing!

68 completed pallets!
68 completed pallets!