By: Judy Deis, Project Director, SIVO Insights
Earlier this summer, I had the distinct pleasure of volunteering alongside my SIVO Insights colleagues at the Lyndale Park Peace Garden in Minneapolis. What initially felt like a daunting task – weeding and mulching a large area of the property – quickly turned into a fun time with friends who connected personally and professionally while we worked.
I had never visited the garden before, so I learned a lot about it during and after our visit. Many of the elements in the garden tie to Japanese culture and heritage, including stones from both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, that were found in the rubble of the 1945 atomic bomb blast. The garden is an official International Peace Site, and when I was there, I could feel the connection to other parts of the world – to Japan, and to the dozens of other International Peace Sites across the globe.
Since I mainly work virtually, I don’t get to see my colleagues that often. That’s why I think it’s so important that we take time out of our busy schedules to do things like this together. Not only are we helping strengthen our community; we’re also strengthening our relationships with each other, which is good for our organization and for our clients.
Our work that day also helped me realize that any task can be made more fun with good company. Weeding doesn’t normally top my list of enjoyable chores, but when doing it alongside people I enjoy, it didn’t feel like work at all. It’s inspiring me to look for other ways I can make life’s to-do’s a little less burdensome by tackling them with others.
In just a couple of hours, we made a great impact on that large area of the garden and made it a lot more beautiful. We took the opportunity to linger in that space for a while, enjoying the beautiful day, the results of our work, and watching members of the community enjoy the garden as well. I’m already looking forward to our next SIVO Service Day!