phlox & moon


Just a quick note today.  This morning I made friends with a crow and noticed that the old apple tree out back is blossoming - happy, hopeful things after a night of little sleep.  I've been feeling the pull of the moon and have sown more seeds - more chamomile, some California poppy, red clover, and a native wildflower mix.  A full moon supper will be had this evening in honor of the Full Phlox Moon.  It won't be a grand spread, but just enough, simple and earthy, with freshly-baked homemade bread, spring greens, and small gold potatoes.  After the moon is up, stones will be placed throughout the garden and seedlings left on the patio for their full moon bath.  Last year's Phlox Moon gave me so much hope, and this year I'm feeling that hope more than ever.  Are you?

slow notes: 

I'll be moongazing later, but for now, the clouds are clearing and the river is calling.  Until next time ~

earth day



We've been getting out together a lot lately.  It's a glorious time of year in the Pacific Northwest and we don't want to miss any of it. 

Some wise words for Earth Day: 

"Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.  Introduce yourself.  Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life.  Ask permission before taking.  Abide by the answer.  Never take the first.  Never take the last.  Take only what you need.  Take only that which is given.  Never take more than half.  Leave some for others.  Harvest in a way that minimizes harm.  Use it respectfully.  Never waste what you have taken.  Share.  Give thanks for what you have been given.  Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken.  Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever."  /  Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.  

I feel like we all know well the things we should be doing to lessen our impact on this earth at this point, and that most of us could work a lot harder at those things.  I'm not perfect and don't always do as I should, but I try to more often than not.  It's my hope if we all keep putting one foot in front of the other and going down a path of reciprocity and respect for the earth and all her creatures that we will start to see them flourish.  There's a much bigger, more complicated picture as far as who and what needs to change, but you and I can take steps to change our habits and mindset about convenience, quality, how to spend our time and money, and what really matters.  

I haven't saved any slow notes since last time, so instead here's a short list of a few books I enjoyed recently:

Poetry from Tom Hirons

The Worship of Place 

There is a temple I know whose roof is made of sky.  
On its ceiling are painted clouds and stars
And the rooms and corridors are made of leaves and branches;
Its doors are open to all people, day and night.  
Anyone may enter, whether or not they listen
To the wise words spoken within.

I know a synagogue through which a river flows
Against boulders inscribed with scriptures of moss, 
Where salmon leap in exaltation and wild doves sing.
The rabbi has a beard of green-grey lichen and
His prayers are carried on the gurgling silver stream.

I know a mosque in which every direction is sacred. 
Within that holy place,  I see the face of the beloved
Beneath every stone and in the heart of every flower. 
Fallen oak leaves are the flurries of the faithful, dancing;
The call to prayer is sung upon the whirling, wild wind.

The priestess of this shrine bars entry to no one; 
She greets me in silence and in silence I depart.
Everyone is welcomed in for worship;
The congregation of all creatures give praise
And offering to the hallowed sanctuary; 
The object of their veneration is the world itself.

When I arrive in this boundless cathedral,
With my eyes unclouded by guile or cunning,
I know the presence of such exquisite beauty
And a joy so intense it's almost unbearable. 

I fall over myself trying to find the best way to worship;
I press my back against the trunk of a broad tree
Or a tower of cracked, stacked stones; 
I tell my confession to the twisted heather,
And bow down before the yellow-flowered gorse;
I renew my vows in the presence of the damsel fly
And receive the blessing of the magpie and the wren.
All the while, skylarks carry my prayers to heaven.

At the altar of this great temple,
There is a fountain, invisible to my eyes.
If my worship is whole-hearted, I am washed 
Clean of sorrow and all my restless thirst
Is quenched.

Standing in this sublime sanctuary,
I am cracked in two and an old well
Bubbles in my heart once again. 
The water is so clear and delicious,
I cannot keep it to myself. 

Will you come with me now to that fountain
And fill your cup of longing from this endless, 
Untamed spring? 

Happy Earth Day!  Give your Mother some extra love today. 

sand, sun & soil


What a beautiful weekend last.  Saturday we went to the outdoor market again to pick up some mushrooms, and we also got a few kale starts from a local farm.  My husband built a garden box on the far side of the red shed (the small hall) to be the home of all the greens, and I can't wait to fill it up.  I've planted some herb starts in the bed out front and started seeds for more.  It really feels like summer could be just around the corner.  It's still dipping to freezing at night occasionally, but the days are getting consistently warmer and sunnier.  Everything is in brilliant color again.  

Sunday, instead of taking Highway 101 south to our usual coastal destination, we headed north and drove along Neskowin Creek, past Nestucca Bay, and into Pacific City.  Blue skies and bright sunshine were tempered by a cold and whipping wind.  Hello, Haystack Rock.  And hello mob of people.  I'll never understand driving on a beach.  It seems wrong, an affront to nature, damaging.  (Aside from the damaging aspect, in another sense it's like when you go hiking and a motorbike goes roaring past or when people play loud music at the river.)  We drove a bit further north and took some side roads, finding nice lonely, quiet trails for slow walks and new views, with only the gentle sounds of nature in our ears. 

T had his first day of on-campus school Tuesday!  After a year of planning and moving and hoping and waiting, it finally happened.  His first day review was a good one, and I'm so relieved and so happy for him.  It's been a lonely couple of years for him.  I pray he finds his people here.  

I've been in the yard all day today - raking up gum tree seed pods, planting some lobelia, cleaning drainage areas, obsessively checking on my seedlings, basically looking for any excuse to stay outside in the glorious 73-degree weather.  We have five raspberry plants I'm hoping to get in the ground today, and I have a peony that is going to bloom before I finally decide where to plant it if I'm not careful.  So off I go, back to sun and soil.

slow notes:

  • This, on oak trees.  When we first moved in Salem 13 years ago, I fell in love with these magnificent trees with the massive arms.  Little did I know then how magical they truly are.  
  • This, from Wired.  "...plastic rain is the new acid rain."    
  • I attended a virtual live event yesterday afternoon, Nest Collective's Singing with the Nightingales: Homecoming.  It was absolutely magical, featuring the sounds of returning nightingales to the woods of England accompanied by music and poetry.  Transporting.  You can watch/listen to it here.  

PS:  Wasn't last night's crescent moon wonderful?

by mlekoshi