As I write this, rain is pouring, wind is blowing, and I can hear Yaz's Only You coming up through the vents from the garage downstairs where my husband is working.  The weather has been stormy with rain and high winds, both here and in Walla Walla where we were visiting family over the weekend.  My 89-year-old dad has been in the hospital for two weeks after breaking his hip, and it was so nice to put my arms around him and look into his eyes.  It's hard to see him diminished; he's always been active and mobile, his life lived working outdoors as a farmer, a maintenance man, a construction worker.  He's been a lifelong gardener, a marathon runner in his 50s, and he has always been the man who would give the shirt off his back to help someone in need.  He is healing well, though, and he is going home today.  

I hear people complaining about this weather, but I couldn't love it more.  Daily walks are truly magical in these conditions.  I can't bear to keep the windows of the house shut just yet.  I know the day will come when it will just be too cold, but for now I'm willing to put on more layers during the day and pile more blankets on at night so that I can feel the wind on my face and hear the rustling leaves and the creatures of the night more clearly.

Our suppers in the dining hall are a favorite time of day.  My husband and I seem to be taking turns making supper - he's a much better cook than I am, but he indulges my desire to make warming, garlicky, vegetable-heavy meals.  I made this last week, substituting coconut milk for the heavy cream but otherwise as written.  If you have any good autumnal or winter soup / stew recipes, please share.  I've found that adding turmeric to my daily juice or blend for warmth is really quite good.  I mostly juice vegetables, with ginger and some citrus or apples, but citrus is out of season now and not nearly as good, so I'm relying on my standbys of carrots and beets, plus cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, purple cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, and kohlrabi.  I save all trimmings, stems, hearts, what have you, to juice.  Nothing goes to waste.  

When my parents sold their house, I was given a box of photographs they'd collected over the decades.  I've been going through some of them today to pick out and frame, and while I'm at it I think I'll set a few out in the dining hall for our Samhain supper.  

Over the weekend I finished my two favorite books I've read so far this year:  David Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous, and Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit.  I loved both of these and how they talked about our relationships with the non-human world.  I don't think there's been a book I've so personally identified with as Rooted since Elaine Aron's The Highly-Sensitive Person.  So much of what Haupt says already lives in my heart and speaks to my personal feelings, experiences, and wishes. 

slow notes:  

Michael Sheen performing the Welsh poetry of Dylan Thomas, here

Did you know it's BAT WEEK? Over the summer we were talking about putting up a bat house - we'd often see them flying around the trees of our back yard when we lingered out there late.  I love them. 

Dr. Andrew Weil is where I first heard breath work talked about many years ago.  I've been trying to take time for this practice every day recently.  His CDs of meditations with a focus on breathing ("go back to the breath") led me through my first attempts at meditation and is still my favorite form.      

Just back from a walk and came home with a handful of unripe but very beautiful persimmons from a sidewalk stand that said "please take, for your health."  

Happy almost-mid-week to you.  Until next time ~

by mlekoshi