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

Time enough

kaleDown in Los Angeles, we took walks to visit the community garden that Dan and Kate and the girls belong to. The newly planted carrot seeds in their bed needed watering, and anyway the kids were eager to explore this secret place, tucked above the city like some magical farmer-fairy kingdom. They tripped and climbed over each other, along terraced pathways that meandered around garden beds, past the rich blackness of the compost pile, under giant avocado trees. Bees buzzed amidst blooming lavender and rosemary, and orange-and-black wings danced through the air. As each butterfly dipped and swooped and bobbed past them, Sonia and Alma – and soon Jacob and Lucas, too – would cry out, “Monarch!”

Fresh air, sunshine, avocados straight from the tree! What more could our darlings need? Ah … extravagant dust baths and the chance to nearly impale each other with muddy trowels and antique weed-hooking thingies. Apparently.

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To be nourished

The Lunchbox FundI’m honored to once again participate in a food justice campaign with The Giving Table. Today’s post is in support of The Lunchbox Fund; our goal is to help nourish some of the world’s most vulnerable people, the hungry young children of South Africa. I hope you’ll pull up a chair and join us for lunch.   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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A bit of a cheat

Lucas feetSometimes when I find that I can’t work through the words in my head, that I’m stretching to sift them onto a page, I put away my pen. A walk helps. But often I turn to someone else’s work. It’s a bit of a cheat, maybe. But depending on how I feel stuck, I have a medicine chest of writers close at hand, writers who can remind me of the many ways people make magic with words. In a lonely business, their voices can bring me back round to my own.  Continue reading

Wagon wheel

lentil saladBoxes: we are down to the last few. But those last few are the ones that, when opened, force you to think what, where, why, how, howhow on earth! or (better) how about over there? This evening I’m leaving them be: three weeks in and I’ve called a timeout on unpacking. Those last few things will find their place. This is supposed to be our ‘forever’ house – a few more days can’t hurt.  Continue reading