January 31, 2010

Combining Beauty and Food Production

"The garden may not ever be finished, and will certainly never be perfect. That is as it should be, the point is not mastery, but cooperation".
Ann Lovejoy
The Year in Bloom, 1987

Ann Lovejoy has long been one of my favorite gardening authors, especially for gardening in the Northwest. Ann advocates for successful gardening through organic methods; building healthy soils, rather than depleting them, which leads to a thriving garden with little insect and weed intrusion and far less watering. It's her mantra. I'm a life long believer.

My maternal grandparents, who worked a year round garden, always had a compost pile brewing. All of our food scraps of a vegetable, fruit, coffee ground, or egg shell nature were fodder for that warm dark pile out back. The rich loam produced from the process was used to dress the plant bases. Evidence of success was found in the plentiful, flavorful results. No one grew better tomatoes than Grandpa and Grandma, I'm sure of it! Of course the hot San Joaquin Valley heat didn't hamper the results either.

These days, as in the past, whether gardeners are toiling away for the sake of food stuffs or ornamental gratification, there's one thing they will always have in common; gardening is good for the spirit.

The photo above was taken in late summer of 09' in a dear friends Northern garden. She has run her hands through the soil of many springs. Her beautiful gardens have reflected the understanding that comes with the long practice of something. They continue to be an inspiration for the art of combining beauty and food production.

January 25, 2010

Silver Light on the Sea

..."silver light on the sea, the white glancing sunspangles on rivers and lakes, light on the myriad stars of the snow, light sifting through the angles of sun-beaten icebergs, light in glacier caves, irised spray wafting from white waterfalls, and the light of calm starry nights beheld from mountain-tops dipping deep into the clear air. Aye, my lassie, it is a blessed thing to go free in the light of this beautiful world"...

A snippet from a letter by John Muir written in 1887 to Janet Douglass Moores. Yes, it was spelled Douglass. The image was made on a Sunday morning in Silverdale, WA.

January 18, 2010

Refilling My Sails

I've been absent. Working on refilling my sails. Not quite there yet, so I'm blowing hot air into them until the natural flow of the winds return and take over. Some would argue I should stick with hot air blowing since mine seems to be limitless and always at the ready. Can't seem to shake loose of 2009's dramas which followed us into 2010. Not being fond of dramas, except those found in the pages of books, on the big screen or told around campfires, we will be happy to see ours settle down and take their leave. Sleeping will come more easily and evening writing energy will return.

This year past has given us much to be grateful for; significant health challenges for each of us followed by tense times are looking better (thank the gods we have insurance), job cuts, trims and changes occurred but we are not jobless (and understand we are very lucky). The list goes on but it's all boring and all too familiar no? It's everywhere in greater or lesser degrees; challenges to catastrophes. Like others, we deal with ill winds by standing ground and blowing back, in those times when we can't move forward. Not spitting into them of course since gratefully we haven't lost our senses...yet. You see the trend here? Lucky, lucky, lucky. Health, insurance, and jobs. Very lucky.

So many things serve to fill the sails of our metaphorical vessel; our love for each other, family, friends, you, past experiences, memories, dreams for the future, interests, and as always...gratefulness for being present in the NOW of our lives. Drinking it in, breathing deeply and sending thoughts of wellness, warmth and sustenance to all in need.

January 2, 2010

I Don't Believe in Ageing

"I don’t believe in ageing.
I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.
Hence my optimism."
Virginia Woolf

And with that I wish each of you a spectacular 2010.
If we can't pull that off,
I send you wishes for sweet moments in the sun.
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