Water the Mountains

blessed are the 1

When Jesus delivered some of his most famous teachings, he did so on a mountain. When God met Moses to deliver his law, God did so on a mountain. Jesus was transfigured on a mountain, his glory outshining all.

There is nothing sacred about mountains per se. They are symbols of permanence in scripture, associated with God's power, mystery and vision. Psalm 104:13 reminds us that as mighty as the mountains are, they too benefit from the provision of God:

"From your lofty abode you water the mountains..."

My dear on-line friend Blue Mountain Mama knows the beauty of mountains first-hand. She is mourning that this beauty is being eclipsed by mountaintop removal practices. And she is mourning that such practices are affecting not only the mountains but also the streams and the valleys and ultimately the life that has gained its sustenance in these places.

No, there is nothing sacred about mountains per se. Which is perhaps why some have purposed to remove them without guilt. But I would suggest that we judge this practice by the Psalm where we hear that God waters the mountains. The Psalm goes on, "the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work." Yes, we might consider whether this practice is satisfying the earth with its fruit.

Blue Mountain Mama is mourning about the fruit of mountaintop removal. The clogged streams, the toxic flow of elements. Again, I revisit Psalm 104, which says, "When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground." And I ask myself, does this practice renew the ground? Does it allow creation to flourish?

If you have a little time and are willing, check Blue's recent post and this site on Mountaintop Removal. Consider sending forth a part of yourself, to create and renew the face of the ground that Blue and her community must live with, want to live with for years to come.


Nameless Creek's No More High Places Forever

Sermon on the Mount illustration & Photo by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , , ,


Wordless Wednesday: Rain Girl

Rain Girl

How is it that the rain
sometimes makes us feel so lost,
so small. This light refreshment
from the sky, heavy to our souls.

Sara's "Rain Girl" drawing and 3D paper art. Photo by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , ,


The Back Yard News, Vol 1, No. 2


In arts & entertainment...

"Making an Angel Crown" by Sonia.

So, first you have to take forsythia* branches, and then you twist them around each other, so they're like a big loop. Then you take some string and two hydrangea flowers and you tie the flowers on with string. Now it's an angel crown.

*it can be made from willow branches too

In sports...

"One Rabbit Hole, One Baseball, and One Big Idea" by Sara.

My family and I were playing baseball in Grandma and Grandpa's back yard. The ball landed near a hole. Sonia tried to pick it up with her mitt, but it was hard to do, and she accidentally knocked it into the hole. We could hardly see the ball in the bottom of the hole, and it was too deep to get it.

We tried grill tongs. We thought to try a rake handle. We tried a double set of grill tongs, but couldn't close them around the ball. So we gave up and went back to play with the other ball.

Suddenly, Daddy got an idea. But we couldn't test his idea in the rabbit hole. We tested it in the basement. And it worked.

So we came out with the big wet-dry vaccum and put the hose in the hole. "Whhsssshhhhhh....!!" We pulled out the hose, and there on the end was the ball. Like a pink and white clown nose on the end of an elephant trunk.

Good thing that no rabbit was having tea down there!

Raspberry Violet Burrito

On the menu...

"Raspberry Violet Burrito" by Sonia.

You take a violet leaf and then you take a raspberry. You put the raspberry on top of the violet leaf. Then you wrap the violet leaf around the raspberry and you eat it. Then you have a wild snack.

In the garden...

"Weed War" by Michaela D.

The D's are waging war against the weeds. Mrs. D says if we do a bit every day, by the end of the summer there won't be one left. So, keep pulling.

Labels: , , ,


Wordless Wednesday: Rainfrosted

Rose of Sharon in Rain

Rose of Sharon,
rain-frosted, limps
into morning.

Rose of Sharon after Rain photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: ,



Ivy & Dead Leaves

"The number of catastrophic wildfires in the U.S. has been steadily rising," reports Scientific American (p.47, August 2007)

Ironically, this increase in catastrophic fires is based on suppression of smaller, natural wildfires. These smaller fires clear the forests of excess brush and debris that build up over time. When such fires are suppressed, the excess brush and debris make fodder for intense fires that are virtually impossible to fight.

Proposed three-fold solution? Let certain natural fires simply burn. Set other areas on fire, purposely. And thin out low-hanging tree limbs, brush, and debris.

When such a policy is pursued, forests are actually strengthened. Also, it's interesting to consider that certain pine cones, like the Redwood cone, must be burned to release their seeds into an environment that ends up conducive to germinating.

This is all highly fascinating to me. On the one hand, it makes me cautious about simple environmental solutions like suppression, that seem wise but ultimately are not. We really do need to take our cue from Creation and see how it preserves and propagates itself. On the other hand, it kindles my thoughts about spiritual growth. Should I be suppressing certain fires that arise in my life? Should I fight the fires of God? Maybe I should let the smaller burnings speak to me... even offer up my soul for kindling now and again.

Labels: , , , , ,


Wordless Wednesday: Lily

Pink Lily 2

I could take a thousand pictures of the lily and never tire of its beauty. Bold, crisp, arresting flower that it is.

Lily photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Labels: , ,


She Found Me (Spaghettiepie, that is)

Pasta w Red Lentil Sauce

And when she found me, she tagged me. And here's what happened next...

1. What’s the one book or writing project you haven’t yet written but still hope to?

Now that's a secret. But I'm open to suggestions and guesses!

2. If you had one entire day in which to do nothing but read, what book would you start with?

Alternatives to Economic Globalization. It's very technical, I know. But I realize that economists are the ones who make the world turn, particularly with how they influence government policies, which in turn create either prosperity or great suffering. It is a new thing for me to read about such things that I used to deem as the arenas of intellectual or political types.

3. What was your first writing “instrument” (besides pen and paper)?

Always my brain. It spits stuff out and when I'm lucky I actually catch it.

4. What’s your best guess as to how many books you read in a month?

Depends on the month!

5. What’s your favorite writing “machine” you’ve ever owned?

My tea pot. You know, all good writing begins with a cup of tea.

6. Think historical fiction: what’s your favorite time period in which to read? (And if you don’t read historical fiction–shame on you.)

I like to read in modern times. I just don't have the wardrobe to read in Victorian times (or the time machine, for that matter.)

7. What’s the one book you remember most clearly from your youth (childhood or teens)?

Oh, that one about the little house that gets overtaken by the city, but is later rescued and rolled to the country. Maybe that's where I get my passion for preservation.

Thanks Spaghettipie, for the tag. And now I tag Lilies Have Dreams, 23 Degrees, and Blue Mountain Mama

If you want to make the recipe above, here it is...

Red Lentils Over Pasta Nest

Boil 25 minutes or until tender...

- 1 cup red lentils, with a good amount of sauteed onion and garlic added
- 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 1 carrot, shredded
- water to cover (and keep adding, as needed)

Add to lentils...

- olive oil garnish
- chopped basil garnish
- salt and pepper

Serve over...

- whole wheat pasta or rice noodles, surrounded by assorted baby lettuces

Labels: ,