In the neighborhood where I grew up, an older, very kindhearted couple lived at the end of the street. Each fall afternoon, over the course of a number of weeks, the neighborhood children would gather in their front yard to collect chestnuts freshly dropped from the two huge trees that adorned their lawn.
As I think back, I do not recall anyone ever asking permission. Somehow, though, it was a privilege extended to school aged children from one year to the next. I am not sure that any of us knew how it started, but undeniably, the couple received our presence just as graciously as they offered their harvest. You see, they also had a beautiful vegetable garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and zucchini among other things. The husband would walk down the street every so often to deliver a bag full of fresh produce to our door. The gift of his presence, generosity, and kindness along with the delicious, wholesome vegetables that he and his wife had nurtured and delivered with great love brought much abundance and joy to them, that they, in turn, shared with their neighbors.
While I did not know much about this couple as a child, or even later, what I witnessed in them spoke volumes and stuck better than glue. They put their heart and soul into their work; work that was meaningful and that could be of service to many. As a result, their garden overflowed not only with produce but also in spirit. Rather than storing it all away or letting it become spoiled, Wisdom led them to open their store to others. They received as well as they gave of themselves, and their harvest. In the end, with generosity, they reaped joy.