Unexpected Harvest begins with memories of our family, The Winter of My Childhood. The burden of my father's loss of jobs through alcoholism and grief from my mother and only sister's deaths when I was eighteen are lightened by a growing faith and awareness of goodness and beauty. In Springtime - An Early Marriage happiness is clouded by the deaths of our premature twin sons and husband.
A new marriage in Summer - A Family of My Own at last brings three children, but also the trials of raising a family in the fifties and sixties. I belatedly go to college, become involved with the racial turmoil in Rochester, N. Y. before coping with grief from my second husband's death in 1976. At no time could I have imagined the blessings that were to follow, as I sought a new life. Autumn - The World As Home unfolds after I risk taking early retirement as a librarian and begin volunteer work in a variety of capacities. Church-sponsored travel-seminars between 1982 and 1991 to the Marshall Islands, Korea, South Asia, the Philippines, China, and Japan provide both inspiration and disillusionment.
Horrified by conditions displaced Marshall Islanders are living under because of U.S. nuclear bomb testing and destruction of their native culture, I begin itinerating around the U.S. encouraging people to protest these and other injustices. Later encounters with individuals, who endure prison and torture and continue to risk their lives for others in exposing oppressive governments, continue my call to become an advocate for oppressed people in distant lands.
I become more involved as opportunities arise and move to Phoenix to volunteer for the Valley Religious Task Force on Central America. This leads to acts of Civil Disobedience while participating with Pastors for Peace efforts to bring humanitarian aid to Cuba. Beginning in 1995, I serve as an international observer in eight delegations to Chiapas, Mexico relating to the indigenous Mayan struggle. On one delegation, our leader is seized by Mexican government officials and expelled.
In Unexpected Harvest, faith and politics are interwoven with intervals of family life, enduring friendships, keen appreciation of nature, and new insight into my father's affect on my life. Loneliness, uncertainty, discouragement, and exasperation are assuaged as I learn to trust in God's care and the people I encounter in a world intended for all to share.
Margery Leach, humanitarian activist and Presbyterian elder, is a retired librarian, twice widowed, the mother of three and grandmother of six. Since retirement, she has become known for slide lectures across the country, as an advocate for oppressed peoples in various underdeveloped nations. She is also an avid hiker, oratorio singer, and theater aficionado.
ÊÊÊÊUnexpected Harvest is a culmination of her efforts not to be silent about injustices encountered in order that her children's children and all other children may live in a world with peace and justice for all.