Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
There is something so wholesomely beautiful about a child holding an egg she just plucked from the hen house, about a lichen-barked apple tree growing Eden-like in the middle of a sun-drenched clearing, about dirtied knees and fingers purpled from plucking blueberries from laden branches, about spending the day with people you love eating food that grew from the land around you. I've been reading a lot of Wendell Berry lately. I find it somewhat strange that I'm poring over essays on farming from the '70s and early '80s, but his writing about stewardship and nourishment and community makes so much sense and is so revolutionary (in the sense of a revolution, or a circle, which comes back to its beginning, or right place) that I find myself fascinated, inspired, and hopeful. It occurred to me how strange it is that the supposedly Christian political right came to be associated with a total lack of responsibility for nature. Bryan's answer was that for a lot of Christians, the idea that this life and this world don't matter and that we must focus only on heaven has, obviously, heavily informed the way we live. I'm so thankful, then, that there seems to be a movement in the other direction, toward a life that embraces both this world and the next and seeks to make God's kingdom known here and now.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Bryan and I went flyfishing yesterday. I don't have any photos because I was busy flyfishing, but as we were driving home through the Teanaway Valley, past Cle Elum and over Snoqualmie Pass, I was struck with a deep sense of gratitude at the beauty and variety within a couple hours of Seattle, and even within the city limits. In the past few months we've gone hiking and/or beach combing in Discovery Park, Golden Gardens, Meadowdale Beach Park, Ravenna Park, I ran a 5k at Magnuson Park, and I have a new appreciation for Northacres Park, which is walking distance from my condo. We've gone camping on Orcas Island and at Lake Wenatchee State Park, we drove to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island last weekend, the Yakima River and Teanaway Valley yesterday, and Friday I spent a magical day with two of the loveliest friends out on the Olympic Peninsula. We visited the lavender fields in Sequim, the Dungeness Spit, and my favorite of all, the Lake Crescent Lodge, tucked in amidst the forest and freshwater fjords of Olympic National Park. The three of us, literature and magic lovers all, sat in Adirondack chairs sipping French mimosas, breathing in the beauty of this Enduring Place that invites one "onward and upward" in thought and in spirit. This must be a taste of what is to come.
In this season I find myself, without a patch of earth to call my own and to steward toward Edenic order and bounty, while people in the city are building houses in the backyards of other houses, forever annihilating the private green spaces of the already dense neighborhoods, and while my feet spend most of their hours three stories above the earth, disconnected and cut off from its vitality and potential, I have been extravagantly blessed by the wild places. And today, inspired by Wendell Berry and his admonition that a good solution should use what is at hand, be inexpensive, and be beneficial to all involved, I planted something. I had a few terra cotta pots, some potting soil, and sunflower seeds left from our wedding, so Amelia and I planted ten little nascent flowers, watered them well, and sat back to wait. Someone said to me recently that gardening is faith. It's a fitting theme for this season: waiting and faith. And someday soon I'll have my patch of earth, to God be the glory.