As I write this, I am listening to my son play the piano in the next room, a song that I loved playing when I took lessons at his age.  I am thinking about how much, despite being in a pandemic, I have loved all our extra time together as a family.

Thor has been in online school for several weeks now, and while he is doing well with that, the isolation is tough for him.  He already felt confined in this small town, and now he feels trapped.   But, we are so grateful that my husband is able to work from home full time, we have access to good, healthy food (and I'm able to do weekly grocery shopping for my parents, which means I see them from afar weekly), and since we live on the edge of a small town, getting outside to bike or run or walk while keeping away from people is pretty easy.  However, I know that we are very fortunate when so many are suffering right now, and I don't take any of our privilege for granted.

Last weekend on Easter, my husband watched mass, as he does every Sunday (we have a non-denominational home, but my husband has Catholic leanings), while I made cinnamon rolls.  The night before, the three of us dyed eggs using a variety of things, including turmeric, blueberries, mint, spinach, purple cabbage, and avocado skins.  Natural is beautiful. 

We've been planting starts and seeds in our tiny backyard garden, but also out at my sister's place in hopes of a larger harvest this year to put up stores for the year to come.  But this year's harvest has already begun - I've gathered and dried nettles foraged on my morning walks, and I've cut back one of our rosemary and have two full quart jars.  (I'm also taking an online herbalism mini-course for more inspiration.)  After finally finding a recipe I like, I've been making whole-wheat sandwich sourdough every week.  This is usually topped with sprouted lentils, which are in heavy rotation right now and making me want to sprout all the things.  

Sewing is a balm right now.  I love a project.  I made 25 masks for a local sewing shop that is giving them to the VA, the local hospital, and the local markets.  Even though it was small, it felt like something I could do for my town during this time.  I've made two tops recently from a $3 thrifted pattern and scraps of fabric thrifted over the years.  My goal is to have a closet more full of handmade things than not in the future.  And, it just feels really good to work with my hands, to make useful and purposeful things. 

These are things are things we've done for quite some time to some degree, but right now they feel so much more comforting, and so much more urgent.  Ideas we've talked about in the past don't seem so "someday" now, and I'm ready to make them happen.  Is it spring?  Is it the pandemic?  I don't know, but I feel on fire to make the most of this time, our resources, and those "someday" ideas.  Growing more of our own food, living as low-waste as we can, and showing compassion and love to all ... these are the seeds I want to plant.

I'll take the simpler, slower life any day, the days that smell like homemade bread and homegrown herbal teas simmering on the stove, the days that resonate with family togetherness and decisions that benefit not only us but Mother Earth.   



Walla Walla, Washington 04.07.2020

Last night my husband and I got in the car and drove toward the full (super)moon at perigee, closer to us than at any other time this year.  The fourth full moon of this year, this full moon is called the Pink Moon after wild ground phlox, one of the earliest flowers to herald the return of spring in North America.  Some call it the Paschal or Egg Moon, as it is the full moon that determines the date of Easter.  Though it looked more peachy than pink to me, I love the idea of a pink moon, a color that makes me think of kindness and compassion, of birth and rebirth.

I felt the moon's pull yesterday and was energized to work outside.  I cleaned and shoveled and turned and watered.  I planted tomato, kale, and sunflower starts.  I tucked wildflower, chamomile, lettuce, and hollyhock seeds into the dirt as the day began to fade into night.  Perhaps it is too soon, too cold for these things to be given over to the elements, but I am placing all my hope in watching something survive and thrive right now.  And what better time than when Grandmother Moon is offering a full moon bath?  

This pink full moon also felt like hope in a time of uncertainty and loss, giving everyone around the world a reason to look up and feel wonder in the midst of isolation, to remind us that there are phases and new seasons for everything. 

I hope you're doing well.  Courage.  

a necessary sabbath


What a strange reality we are living.  How are you doing?  I've been at a loss for words here - these pictures are almost two weeks old now.  I know we are all doing the best we can in these uncertain times, and I know circumstances are much harder for some than others.  My heart goes out to those suffering in more ways than I can imagine.  I hope we can all give each other, as well as ourselves, grace.   

Instead of talking about the darkness in the world right now, a link I found helpful yesterday:  

Jack Kornfield:  The Bodhisattva Response to Coronavirus

Also, some thoughts, most of which I feel pertain to this time, from a book I found inspiring recently:  Sabbath by Wayne Muller:

"For thirty minutes walk slowly and silently, preferably outside in nature, but it can also be done indoors - without trying to get anywhere.  It is more of an amble, a stroll.  Let your senses guide."  

"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clean air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence ... And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves ... part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it.  We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.  For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope." 

"Lectio divina, or contemplative reading, is an ancient practice common to most religions.  It begins with reading a short passage of scripture or other inspirational writing, and then quietly reflecting upon it - not analyzing or trying to figure out the meaning - but rather allowing it to quietly work on you, as leaven in the bread, as water on a stone.  The key is to read slowly, chew over the words, and allow them to quietly nourish and heal you."  

"Where had these new herbs and grasses come from?  They appeared from within the earth of this field, seeds that had always been embedded in the soil.  Because they had always been trodden underfoot by the relentless activity of the cows, they were never able to grow into their fullness.  When the land and the seed were given a necessary Sabbath, the earth could then, in its own time, reveal the breathtaking wonders of which it was naturally and easily capable."

I found so much good in this book that I wanted to remember, I started keeping a journal of favorite passages.   

Much love.  
by mlekoshi