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Linchpin: Seedleaf, Ryan Koch

Lexington's linchpin of community and urban gardening, composting and resilience, Ryan Cook, loaned me Linchpin (Public Library) one of many books by Seth Godin. Both of us had listened to a recent public radio conversation between "On Being" host Krista Tippett and Seth Godin called The Art of Noticing, and then Creating.

Linchpin, holding the wagon wheel in place. Photo Credit Gina Smith, Dreamtime Stock Photos. Thank you!

Linchpin, holding the wagon wheel in place. Photo Credit Gina Smith, Dreamtime Stock Photos. Thank you!

I'm fighting some with Seth Godin's ideas and his delivery of those ideas in this book. The central premise, though, rings true: when people do the work that calls them and requires them to face down fear, when they create ways to work that mount to art, those people become indispensable to our communities.

The linchpin holds a wheel on an axle. Fairly small, not showy, but indispensable, a linchpin makes movement, progress, and productivity possible. You surely can name many linchpins in your community, family, workplace, and your chosen field.

Ryan himself is such a linchpin, one of many extraordinary people who fill central Kentucky with art, surprise, and progress. Recent evidence?

Ryan and Seedleaf have rooted gardening into the heart of our city. Seedleaf's work, heading into year 8, deepens and expands instead of following the usual community gardening trajectory: big excitement and enthusiasm at the outset (say, early April), with neglect and disillusionment following once the level of required sustained work becomes clear (August, for example.) Seedleaf now works in 16 gardens and collects composts from more than 30 eager food (and drink) businesses. Look at this excellent map. Join in Seedleaf's work right now, in mid-winter. Seedleaf's volunteers are legendary, and Seedleaf's volunteer management the best I have seen among good causes. Here's the upcoming work calendar.

Here's your heavy metal bonus: Linchpin, the song, by Fear Factory. Yes, it's LOUD.


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