In ever-widening circles

fig saladOh, August. Already. And how?

Three years in on canning and jam, we have officially declared a tradition: Ann started a file. Now we will look back and remember, year over year. What we processed, what our yields were. Remember, too, the people and the stories that swirl around and through the steam in the canning kitchen. Continue reading

This one

citrusToday was my co-op day for Jacob’s class. I was working outside, at the round brown table under the big juniper tree, helping the kids make flowers out of enormous coffee filters and green pipe cleaners. They painted them with liquid water colors – vibrant springtime greens and pinks and oranges, yellows and purples, bright turquoise. Jacob and a handful of other kids concentrated on their blooms as his teacher and I watched. “I love the colors,” I said.

“I picked them for spring,” she said.  Continue reading

Inspiration

yellowTwo weeks ago, our dear friend Jane took Jacob behind the scenes at the Space Sciences Lab at Berkeley. Though I eventually dissuaded Jacob from wearing his astronaut suit (it was raining, the suit is white …) he insisted on his NASA cap. He followed Jane through the long hallways, some moments strutting like a little space rooster and others hiding under his cap’s giant brim. Scientists and astronomers and engineers and grad students all shook his hand and welcomed him with smiles just as serious as his; perhaps it was the cap, but it felt like they recognized one of their own. Continue reading

Sufficient and magical

window herbsJanuary is our rainy season, but it has not rained this year. Where usually by now green runs rampant, the ground is instead insistently brown. Hardy oxalis, usually so lush, speckles the bluffs with a faint whisper of color. Its yellow flowers are bright under the strange winter sun, the sky an eerily deep, cloudless blue. Continue reading

In the grace of the world

HMBThe rain arrived today, and I was glad. After a morning of fingers slammed in doors and heads caught in bag handles, of favorite shirts gone missing and rain boots on the lam – after that morning, I was ready for some soft edges, craving the fresh clean smell of the wide wet world, anticipating the coziness of twisting steam and rain-blurred windows.

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Bound for anywhere

boysOn Fridays, we are bound for anywhere. Today, flock after flock of brown pelicans paced us as we headed first for lunch with my dad. Steady down the coast, we discussed directional cardinality, and left and right. (That is, Lucas pointed out that his left shoe is always his left shoe, and Jacob noted that left is always left, but left can also be north or south or east or west.) We talked about why the compass in the car wasn’t broken, even though it said for a while that we were driving west when Santa Cruz is south of us, and we wondered about how compasses work. (Magnetism and the poles, or something? Oh, right. I had mostly forgotten.)

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