Peachy Quesadilla

sweet and spicy quesadilla

Spicy. Sweet. Juicy. Filling. Delectable.

That's the only way I can describe this ultra-simple, unexpected recipe— the product of staying with relatives and needing to figure something out for vegetarian lunch. Necessity really is the mother of invention.

Peachy Quesadillas

• whole wheat tortillas
• pepper jack cheese
• sliced fresh peaches or nectarines
• butter

Fill tortilla with cheese and peaches, fold and saute a few minutes on each side in a little butter. Heavenly.

Peachy Quesadilla photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Why Unplug?

Natural Fountain Laity Lodge

This week I am semi-uplugged. Teaching half days, every day. About spiritual practice. Using Ruth Haley Barton's book Sacred Rhythms.

Actually, teaching is probably not the best term. What I am doing is trying to make space for spiritual practices. Space in time and place, for a small group to experience what it is like to sit in solitude, read scripture using Lectio Divina, pray, develop a of rule of life, uncover life desires.

Today we looked at solitude. Many things resonated with me, but this surpassed them all— a quote from Barton...

Exhaustion sets in when we are too accessible too much of the time. A soul-numbing sadness comes when we realize that a certain quality of life and presence is slipping away as a result of too much "convenience." Breaks in the day that used to be small windows of replenishment for body and soul— like driving in a car, going for a walk, having lunch with a friend— are now filled with noise, interruption and multi-tasking. What feels like being available and accessible is really a boundaryless existence that offers no protection for those things that are most precious to us. (p.35)

Reading this, my soul said yes. And I decided to get back to my afternoon practice of outdoor solitude (something I committed to do for a year, and did, but have since let drift away). Having recently gone to Laity Lodge Retreat Center, where I discovered I really was exhausted in many ways, this invitation seems especially apt.

So. This afternoon, I shall take my cup of tea. Go where there are no outlets, no screens. And just be.

[btw, this post helps explain my comment on Are You Ready for Life Streaming?]

Quiet Waters at Laity Lodge photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Mother as Place

LL's hand at Laity Lodge

Reading Robert Farrar Capon, I am struck by his odd mix of traditionalism and bold, controversial insight. Today, his thoughts on Mother warm my heart. He says...

To be a Mother is to be the sacrament— the effective symbol— of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home: in the simple sense that we begin our days by a long sojourn within the body of a woman; in the extended sense that she remains our center of gravity through the years. She is the very diagram of belonging, the where in whose vicinity we are fed and watered, and have our wounds bound up and our noses wiped. She is geography incarnate, with her breasts and her womb, her relative immobility, and her hands reaching up to us the fruitfulness of the earth.

As a mother who both travels (is mobile because of a writing career) and who is yet deeply involved in the home, I find this statement both comforting and challenging. It reminds me that I want to maintain a level of boundaries— not to be gone too often while my children are still here. It also makes me smile, when I think of the simple offerings I can make. Food on the table. A comfortable home. A smile and a hug to begin and end the day.

In the end, the task is not simple, nor can I ever be the perfect sacrament, the ideal place for my family. So I like this final word from Capon... if on some distant day, the smell of fresh bread can still break their hearts, I do not think that all will have been too hopelessly lost.

God help me, if I am going to break their hearts at all, to break them in such lovely ways.

LL at Laity Lodge Photo, by L.L. Barkat. Quotes from p. 62 and 29, Bed and Board, R.F. Capon

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Why I Became a Vegetarian

Pasta w Red Lentil Sauce

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my article at Today's Christian Woman is already on-line. It's called Why I Became a Vegetarian— it's a matter of health and faith.

Interesting. Some people commented that they didn't like the title. Oh, the joys of being a writer; that was not my original title. But I get sweet credit (and not-so-sweet credit) for it anyway. Mostly, I was encouraged to see how many people are interested in the topic. And gracious about it. It's not always easy to step out and write on an issue like this. So I appreciated many of the nice comments.

If you want to talk about the article over there, go ahead and click over. Or if you want to talk about it here, well, you know I'm always happy to put my feet up, take a sip of tea, and chat.

(Recipe for the above pic, is here).


Ruth's thoughts on sweets (I find this to be related, because it raises the question of why we eat certain foods and why we might choose to pass on them at times)

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