Wordless Wednesday: Edges


I love the edges of my property, the wild places. Here, the unexpected things grow. And they delight me.

Buttercups photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: ,


Lawn Care

Lawn with Azaleas

I find the term "lawn care" ironic. Care implies knowledge, first of all. And compassion. It means I do not think of myself first.

Yet, when it comes to lawn care, I am tempted to do the opposite.

- I want to think first of my neighborhood reputation. (Look at the Barkat lawn!)

- I desire to do what is simplest, requiring the least amount of knowledge; thus, I am faced with the temptation to use a chemical fix. (See Craver's discussions on dandelions and a mysterious chemical and herbicide temptations. Very thought provoking.)

- Indeed, society asks me to care very little for the creatures that live in my lawn, walk on it, or receive its runoff. (Which means, ultimately, I am asked not to care for my own health or that of my children's generation.)

So, I was excited to find these, on How to Keep a Chemical-Free Lawn and How to Create a Lawn That's Sustainable. Just a little advice, to put me on my way to lawn care. The kind without irony.

Green Inventions Invitation: if you write a related post and LINK back here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

Front lawn photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , , ,


Wordless Wednesday: In the Bag

groceries in canvas

At last! I'm remembering to bring my canvas bags to the grocery store.

Groceries photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: ,


Eye of the Storm

after the storm

Yesterday, 3:20 p.m.:

The air was humid, the sky clear. But the breeze felt oddly threatening. I considered closing my bedroom window before we left the house.

We drove to piano lessons. I dropped my seven-year-old off at the old Tudor, with the ancient trees all 'round it. Sara and I went to the nearby library.

The sky was clear. We walked in, started picking books.

Suddenly, a sound like a train. We looked outside. The trees were horizontal. Some fell outright, ripped in half. A woman exclaimed, "Oh, no! A tree fell on those cars!" She trembled and babbled. One car was hers.

I felt afraid. Real fear. Primal and deep. Rushed Sara to an inner room. The bathroom of all things. "I wish Sonia was here," Sara said. She voiced my thoughts. I just wanted all my loved ones here, in this dark place, in my arms.

In ten minutes, the wind was past. We left the darkness of the library. Ran out through pelting rain. Shook ourselves into the car. Turned and turned and turned again, seeking a passable road, to go retrieve my Sonia.

It took a long time to get home. And when I set foot inside, I still felt fear. The world had toppled and boiled and raged. My bedroom floor was soaked. Some laundry I should have put away two days ago was also soaked.

In a strange half hour of peace, the sun came out, dazzling a million water droplets that hung on the pine. I left the shelter of the house, lay on my back under dripping branches, and opened my Psalm for the day...

God is a safe place to hide...
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God of angel armies protects us.

The world will bring more dangers in its future, more storms like this, more troubles, destructions we have even brought upon ourselves and God's creation. This I surely know.

But I was reminded in this moment that there is something else to know. God is a safe place to hide. Because he exists beyond the storms, into eternity.

Quote from Psalm 46, The Message version. Fallen Branch photo by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: ,


Wordless Wednesday: Divine Sound

forsythia bloom

Forsythia flowers
are golden bells,
ringing, ringing
peace, over the cares
of my morning.

Forsythia bloom photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , , , , ,


Sun Promises

Sun Fire 2

I've always loved the sun. I love to watch it rise and set. I cherish quiet moments when it shines gently on my face. Now, in the mornings, when I go to my secret place, I marvel when it pours into the the little "woods."

Surely, the sun is a symbol of hope for me, as it has been for countless other generations. It expresses the provision of God in its consistency. It reminds me of this wonderful verse in Psalm 145...

The LORD upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand, satisfying the desire
of every living thing.
vss 14-16

Yes, God provides for each season, in due time. And this is something else I've been learning. Today I discovered, for instance, that I can eat my forsythia blossoms. This is the season for it. He has provided.

Sunshine Breakfast

Sunshine breakfast

Mix all:

- apple, cut in chunks
- 1/4 of a lemon, squeezed over apples
- sprinkle of sea salt
- maple syrup to taste
- few sprinkles cinnamon
- sprouted, dehydrated, spiced buckwheat; or granola
- raw pecans
- forsythia blossoms
- sprinkle of dandelion greens

Raw Buckwheat

Raw Buckwheat Granola

- Soak about 1 and 1/2 cups hull-less buckwheat about 6 hours. Drain into colander.
- Let sprout about two days.
- Add a few pours of honey, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and a bit of sea salt, cloves, allspice.
- Dehydrate at 115 degrees until dry (about six hours).

This is an "earthy" food. Not for frosted flakes lovers, trust me.

About buckwheat: source of protein and iron; soothing to the digestive tract; contains rutin which reduces blood pressure, promotes circulation, heals capillaries, and neutralizes radiation and X-rays; increases glucose tolerance, decreases cholesterol.

About apples: high in malic and tartaric acid which resists bacteria and yeast in digesitve tract; contain pectin which removes cholesterol, radiation, and toxic metals from the body; may prevent tooth decay; prevent blood sugar swings.

Sunset photo, food photos by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , , , , ,


Wordless Wednesday: Dancing Leaves

leaf train

Leaves dance
through this
secret place,
follow each other
like a wedding train,
past the shadow
of the pine,
into the arms
of the wind.

Leaf train photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , , ,


Wordless Wednesday: Eating Violets

Violet Salad

When eating violets, avoid the yellow ones, which are not edible.

The new, tender leaves of blue or white violets make a lovely salad, though. Just add olive oil, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and confectionary sugar.

This recipe was approved by a ten- and a seven-year old, who both tried to sneak more violets out of the bowl before daddy came home to get his share.

About violets... high in iron, calcium, and anti-oxidants.

Violet Salad photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , ,