focus

There is something about these warm still days of no rain that unfailingly lead me to water. Whether it is to my beloved brook here on the property, or to the pond through the neighbor’s woods, or simply to the mailbox perched on the edge of a vibrant river road, it is a clear trajectory that lands in a clear reflection of some kind.

The water is low everywhere. The sound of trickle has replaced the spring rush and this only accentuates stillness of the air and brightness of the light. What is accomplished in the intersection of these conditions is a surreal kind of reflection. It’s as if the slowed down water has become denser somehow and is capable of holding a richer depth of light and color and image.

P1140402

P1140412

Capturing this in a photo doesn’t feel like enough though. It is a beautiful moment yes, an accomplishment of one lens and one focus. But I read something recently that has me questioning how I share such moments. Author Jeff Brown says, “We need accomplishment to become a relational construct.”

What does this mean?

Walking toward the pond this morning in a quickly mounting morning heat, I had to wipe perspiration from my glasses. I have been really near-sighted most of my life and my instinct has always been to stop in moments like this, wipe, and return glasses to my face before continuing. But this morning I just kept walking while I wiped. And then kept on walking with glasses in my hand the rest of the way to the pond. I clearly didn’t need the focus they provided to see where I was going or to keep safe. But I immediately felt the discomfort of not being able discern the kind of detail I am used to focusing on with my artist’s eye. What was I ‘accomplishing’ if I wasn’t seeing the way I think I should?

Ironically, I put my glasses back on as I sat down to reflect at the water’s edge. The pond was as still as could be, the clarity of reflections diminished only in intensity by the layer of spring pollen fuzz littering the surface.

P1140420

Yet even with clear eyesight restored, unease in a lack of focus for what I was experiencing remained.

Thinking of what Nora had been reflecting back to me the past few days came to mind. She had an encounter with a porcupine recently. We were on a walk with a friend who had negotiated this experience with her own dog and was able to help us all relax into the situation.  The size and quantity of quills that needed to come out were small, and after feeding Nora some beer (smile) with her food, the one in her tongue came out on its own.  Later, in an inspired moment of her jumping up for some attention, we were able to grab and pull out the other big one.  Now days later, most of the rest of them have worked their way out. But there are two small quills left on her upper lip that are driving ‘me’ crazy. They can’t really be seen unless you focus intently on that spot. It would be so easy to pull them out if she would just let me. But she won’t. She has literally been avoiding me for days. I know she can actually feel the energy of my intent just by the way I look at her. The motivation to get these quills out because I think I am supposed to is really strong. I am trying to trust that she is not in pain. Obsessed, I tried to get a photo of her up close with the offending quill sticking out of her lip the other day. Even then, the second I focused the camera on her, she would shift or turn the other way or put her head on the ground, reflecting back to me permission to stay right were I was in this motivation and revel in her beauty instead.

Or to take off my glasses and just let her be….

P1140400

Would it be an accomplishment if I could get those quills out without her collaboration?

It wasn’t until after walking a bit more and deciding to literally turn around and walk the same path back that I could feel the focus that was eluding me. All these months in the woods I have had this very clear sense that I am not there alone. Yes, Nora is out there with me and her presence weaves in and out of my path. But this is a different kind of feeling, as if there’s someone right around the corner literally behind that tree. I’ve never felt afraid. Mostly just a kind of suspended awe at feeling so good with so much presence. And then every so often, the good feeling is punctuated by a wave of pure love so strong it takes my breath away. Hard to imagine sustaining the force of that wave for too long. I see the impulse to attach this love to something, and more often than not to the image I am seeing through my lens.  Realizing now that the amazing reflections of the past few days have given me a place to experience ‘me’ in both good feeling and uncomfortable feeling moments, I have an opportunity to consider the difference between motivation and inspiration.

Inspiration is a focused moment.  Like the water, I absorb and become one with the light and the color and the love of the elements that form this moment, and INSPIRED, simply reflect it back…

Feels important to hold onto this feeling as long as I can today…and wait for a moment of inspiration that might allow me to help Nora when she is ready…

leo

There are babies, and then there are babies that seem to look right into you in a way that is breathtaking. I met such a soul yesterday, just nine weeks in this human body, his name is Leo and he absolutely found his way into my heart…

I was visiting his parent’s farm (Hilary and Lincoln of Sawyer Farm in Worthington) for the first time to pick up my first CSA share. I met them recently at a neighbor’s and was simply captivated by their open way. They have been working their farm for four years now, young and vibrant and clearly connected to the community as evidenced by the cheery customers who arrived while I was there. Leo was in a bouncy seat on the floor and I was drawn to him like a magnet. He had just finished a bottle of milk and I gently placed my hand over his full belly. Energy exuded from his little body and he responded with an effusive smile and gurgle. A smile so wide that the hint of emerging dimples became clear. Eyes locked, I felt like an ancient dance was taking place, this little wise one sharing something important with me…

I filled a bag with fresh lettuces, greens, several kinds of radishes, carrots and beets still covered with dirt, still fresh and crisp from winter storage. I left with my bag of bounty, a beautiful beef soup bone, beef stew meat, a package of bacon, a dozen eggs, and a smile. Everything they offer at their farm is touched by the sweet energy of a willingness to share. I felt so connected! Here was a young family committed to working the land in a sustainable way (they actually till without power tools), producing abundance to share with their community, including their little Leo.

Driving home, I was appreciating the way in which this young family is able to bring others into their lives. I thought of all the years I have been writing this blog, endeavoring to share in my own way with moments of connection. I thought of today’s offering while walking along the brook earlier. The wind was blowing fiercely, and yet the water, so low now in the absence of rain, was still and calm, reflecting shadow and color and life from the warmth of the sun in a magical way, equally breathtaking.

P1140362

It was only when walking back up through the green that the wind could be seen too, also breathtaking, twirling the ferns like pinwheels in its gust.

P1140374

P1140375

What little Leo just illuminated for me was the power of actual human connection, whatever size or form it might come in, and how important it is to be open to and experience this too in addition to all the moments of beauty and peace and love experienced in nature.

I stop at the local corner store for my favorite locally made fresh baguette and a large bottle of locally made stout beer for the weekend. Home, I make a pile of the fresh ramps and leaves of tender Russian kale to cook for supper.

P1140377

I make an appetizer of a chunk of the fresh buttered bread with sliced peppery radish and a glass of a favorite Malbec (Durigutti, 2013)

P1140378

while chopping two cloves of garlic to cook the greens with. I scrub the dirt of one of the carrots and taste it. OMG. Really. The sweetest carrot I have ever tasted! Could it be that the dirt actually locks the flavor in place, and this is the secret to the divine flavor of freshly picked food? I decide to grate the carrot and have it fresh in some way with the greens…

Garlic goes in pan with some olive oil and after a few moments, add a scant quarter cup of rinsed quinoa. With heat on high, add about a half cup chicken broth (next time I will use homemade meat broth from the bone I just brought home…), bring to a boil, and add the chopped greens. Cover and turn fire to low. Cook until quinoa is done, adding more liquid if necessary. Add a splash of tamari and the grated carrot, turn fire off, cover and let sit for just a moment.

In the plate ready to be eaten,

P1140379

I feel anticipation. The taste is unexpectedly refined and intensely flavorful, the tender leaves of the greens truly melting in my mouth. The sweetness of the carrots is sublime in combination with these other savory parts.

My enthusiasm for cooking with such fresh food has once again peaked…

I think, the entire being of sweet Leo already knows the value of such fresh food. And soon enough, he will be able to taste it too!

one fine day

My son Ben is visiting during this week between graduation ceremonies and return for summer. And takes only one day to become inspired anew with an infusion of this magnificent young man’s energy…

It has become clear over the years that having a clear structure for his days serves Ben well. It is important for him to know how he will be interacting with each day. At his school, it is a consistent daily schedule of classes, lessons, work, social gatherings, outings, personal care, and designated computer time that becomes the foundation upon which he can build trust and explore what is in his heart.

I got to experience this is so many ways yesterday with him. After charting out a day together that would include some time gathering herbs in the woods, gardening, chores, individual work time, meal contents and preparation, outing destinations, movie selection, and even a hike, we proceeded out to greet the morning sun…

First on the agenda was gathering sweet woodruff from a large blanket covering the floor of the woods. P1140346 It doesn’t take long to fill the large parchment bag with snipped blossoms.  The smell is intoxicating and I love that Ben asks what they are for.  I tell him I will make a special wine and can use the fragrant dried herb for cooking too. P1140348 Next is the next task of transferring the two cubic yard mound of compost and soil just delivered for filling the raised beds. Ben is a master of working with long-handled tools (he can rake leaves for hours and says the favorite part of his job in the kitchen at school right now is mopping, smile). He expertly empties one shovelful after another into the two beds, and reminiscent of the happy dwarfs off to work in the story of Snow White, smiles his way through the activity, saying out loud that he is good at digging holes! We work through the morning, enjoy lunch together, have a successful outing to the grocery and garden stores where he makes several new friends with his outgoing and inclusive way, and arrive home to prepare for our hike.

I’m surprised at his enthusiasm for this activity, and am excited to take him on the walk up to the pond. The moment we step into the trail, he is exclaiming how much he loves this, already thanking me for bringing him here. His whole being exudes the gesture of outstretched arms saying yes! I love this! I love you! Before long I find myself telling him things, why there are so many stone walls, what they represent, the size of tree trunks, pointing out the wind patterns and reflections in the water, even about my relationship with Nora out here in the wild. It is a quiet banter, and with each offering Ben enthusiastically says thank you for telling him this history, thank you for bringing him here, thank you…

Oh, still my wildly beating heart, how I love this young man and his open happy sharing way…

We settle into the kitchen with our bottles of hard cider, our ritual now since he turned twenty-one, and begin to make pasta carbonara (with fresh Hadley asparagus!) together for dinner.  Ben chops and stirs and happily listens to my lesson on the importance of timing and process in cooking. Smile. We garnish each plateful with the beautiful tiny violets collected during our hike P1140347 and settle in to watch our movie for the night. I’m curious at his eager anticipation to watch the movie ‘Selma’ that arrived from Netflix the day before. It seems one of his teachers talked about it in class one day and so this movie already has meaning for him as something he can take back and share with his class. I’m concerned about what I know will be tough scenes of human beings hurting other human beings depicted in a graphic way but I am trusting that he wants to see this movie for a reason. As expected, the moments of non-sensical police brutality merit discussion. We talk about how fear of ‘difference’ makes some people do mean things. Ben engages with the movie on every level like he does, recognizing certain actors from other movies, noting a song to look up later, and ultimately stating the obvious. In this case, the obvious is white policemen hurting black people. The images, and the intense feelings they trigger, are just so hard to ignore. Of course, the parallel to the horrors still being perpetrated today is not lost on me. But for Ben, it becomes a simple awareness of universal fear, one he takes to sleep with him and dreams about.

He sits on the stairs this morning sharing his dream of ‘being afraid’ before giving his customary morning hug. I realize that talking this through can only get him part way back to his open heart, he needs to find a way to connect to his own experience of love vanquishing fear. I do the best I can. I trust the messages he is negotiating and ultimately, what will become truth for him in his own life, is swirling in his awareness ready to take root.

So much for one fine day. Can’t wait to see what today brings…! mom & ben

white

Is there anything sweeter than walking in the woods after a brief rain, sun filtering through making diamonds on leaves, joyous birdsong, clear air, the feeling of bright and white? P1140306 I had been taking advantage of the dark rainy morning, staying in bed reading, and eventually found myself drifting into meditation. My back propped just so with firm pillows, knees up, I was in a loose form of a restorative yoga posture. From here, I could simply close my eyes and begin to notice the places in my body first that were still gripping, then moved to the mind, watching the progression of thoughts move through the way they do. It didn’t take long for me to find a still place. When I finally opened my eyes, the sun was streaming through the window. And the woods were calling. Nora has become so finely tuned to the ritual of preparing for these walks that she even recognizes when I am pulling on my ‘walk in the woods’ blue jeans. Today, I am as anxious as her to get out there and we are out the door in a matter of minutes. It’s the first time we’ve come down here so early in the day. Of course everything feels different based on where the sun is and what is illuminated. I stop in new places. Make a few little clearings here and there. P1140286 Slowly work my way down to my new favorite spot in the brook where I can rest on a broad flat stone surrounded by the infinite variety of sounds made from water meeting and moving over stone. Nora’s left me alone. Since our adventure the other day in the woods across the brook, she has given herself permission to bound across and explore on her own. And instead of lying down like I normally to, I accept an invitation from the large stone at the edge to sit and have a back rest. As I lean into this cool forgiving surface, I feel my spine re-align, straighten, and yield in a way I know will allow me to stay here for hours if I want. My head simply rests in its place at the top of the spine, perfectly balanced, without any physical prop to hold it in place. Knees again in constructed rest, eyes closed, I realize I am in exactly the same pose I was in just a half hour ago. Deep deep sigh. The beauty of a restorative pose in yoga is in the release of time. When support is so clearly felt and accepted, it is possible to really rest. Seems simple really. But so hard to let go to if there is an expectation of any kind in the way. Or resistance to the unexpected. I didn’t expect to find this kind of deep resonance in this moment and the awe of it was holding me in place. I was feeling the gentle hum of vibration from my supportive granite companion most significantly at the back of my heart. Actually having sensation here helps me realize how much I am typically closed in this particular part of my body. Eyes still closed, I begin to open to the full circle of everything surrounding me. When I finally do open them, everything my eye falls on shimmers with heartfelt meaning. Snap snap of the camera to capture images in front, at the edges and above me… P1140293 P1140294 P1140295 P1140296 But to take a photo of what was behind me I would actually have to move and leave this place of trust I was experiencing. Instead, I could choose to stay right where I was and open to the feeling of bright and light behind me with full awareness. Humbling to realize that the impulse to ‘see’ is still so strong. Holding camera as if to take the proverbial selfie, I aim it around the back of me to capture what is there. Smile. Somehow this gesture simply clarifies the color of who I am as part of this amazing place in time, and not just an observer of what is there. P1140299 I recline back into the arms of my new friend, this time with feet brought together in the traditional way of baddha konasana P1140303 and sink into pure pleasure. The walk back up is slow and meditative. My focus has shifted and I am taking in the smallest detail of things. I keep seeing the tiny white blossoms on the ground. They are so small. I have to get down on my hands and knees and up close and personal to really see them. Magnificent little white blossoms. P1140305 Now I am seeing white everywhere. White bleeding hearts! P1140275 A small clump of white narcissus calls from the edge of path further up. Up close they are exquisite with the barest hint color delicately marking the center. P1140308 I pick three. Anxious now to get back to the house to put them in water, I walk by a bank of white lilacs in my side yard and pick up a fallen branch full of blossoms to add to the bouquet. I simply had never noticed them before! P1140310 The presence of these white flowers is my affirmation for the day. White light contains the full spectrum of color and life, including me… P1140313

hole

I can’t believe the size of the hole Nora has dug in the newly mowed lawn. She is banished to the inside while I survey the scene.

P1140245

She likes to dig, I know this. But it is hard to fathom why she chooses the spots she does. I get it when it is at the edge of the foundation or back of the garden where the voles like to scurry. But out in the middle of the lawn in a seemingly random place? What keeps coming to me is that these holes might be her boredom holes. Whatever pent up energy of discontent needs to be expended follows the impulse to ‘find’ something, and once she starts, she can’t stop. I usually yell a bit when I find them, then grab a rake or shovel and try to fill it back in right away with the dirt she has scattered all over. You can never completely fill a hole back up this way. I always have to add something new to the mix to bring the surface back up to some semblance of level. Without a ready source of new soil nearby that won’t require more digging, I’ve filled these holes with everything from wood ash to crushed leaves. I had just finished adding some sod taken from my new raised beds on top of the holes she made last fall, repaired the few at the garden edges and thought she might be done for a while. But this hole is her most prolific yet. As if there is truly something to get to on the other side.  Maybe because I haven’t rushed to fill it in like the others and just let it be?  I realize we haven’t been to the woods in a few days to let whatever injury to her right hind leg have a chance to heal a bit, so I think, let her have this hole…

P1140240

P1140242

I can’t wait any longer.  I start putting on my hiking books and she goes crazy. I can barely get the front door open for her burst to get out to the path leading to our entry into the woods. There’s no visible change in the breakneck speed with which she races away when I let her off the leash and I have to let go of any worry that her leg is not fully healed. I finally make it through the meadow, enter the woods and stop cold. It IS completely new. In the space of just a few days the deciduous trees have all fully leafed out and I hardly recognize where I am.

P1140266

Following the path by memory with just the barest hint of the faint crush underneath is the only means for actually seeing where I am going because the way is now one version of green upon another. Mesmerized, I couldn’t stop if I wanted to, the impulse to keep moving through this green is powerful. I think, not so different from Nora’s hole then, this compulsion to tunnel through to what is beyond or underneath or at the end.

Arriving at the brook, I find my way to my new favorite boulder and sit in the middle of stone and rushing water. Up to now, I have always considered the ‘other side’ a place that is over there, content to have my meditation right here and then turn back to home. But today, my eye falls significantly on the next stone that leads to a clear crossing and before I can blink I am on the other side. Nora, joyously, follows.

We are now in ‘wildlife management’ preserve land.  There are no discernible trails and I just walk straight up the hill, as if there is something to get to.  The sound of crunching through dried branches on the ground loudly announces our presence in this distinctively different landscape of bigger trees and bigger spaces between trees, from my side of the brook.

P1140262

Eventually I come to a series of stone walls, something I am getting used to encountering deep in the wilderness of this land surrounding my new home.  There is a maze of sugaring tubes running between trees on one side, and the hint of light and something different further up above.

P1140263

Kind of like digging out of a hole I suppose, the contrast between forest density and open clearing is dramatic as I find myself standing at the edge of a barbed wire fence looking at the most amazing tree standing out there all by itself.

P1140260

This is the stopping point. We turn around and head back. It’s a little surreal crossing back over the brook now. Now that we’ve dug this deep, I wonder if we will continue be satisfied with what is on our side of the book…

The answer is yes, of course. With new eyes, I take in the world of green that has sprung up so significantly. Especially the ferns! Just a week ago they were tightly coiled, too small to be the fiddleheads I was hoping to find for food. Now they band together in their new growth to form significant edges.

P1140268

Up close, each group of ferns is like a tightly knit family

P1140253

formed around a center.

P1140254

Or a hole? Could be either I suppose…

Now we reach the edge of home, moving out of the density of relentless green back in to the world of form.  Resonance with that lone tree on the other side comes to mind.  That tree was there, but could easily be here sharing space with the beauties beyond.

P1140269 P1140272

Nora’s hole doesn’t seem like such a mystery anymore.  If I just let her keep digging, I think she too might eventually find her experience on the other side, and bring it back with her to fill the space of her discontent…

quest

There is a person in my life who has an uncanny knack for appearing, sometimes after years of no contact, at exactly the moment I am experiencing myself in a truly beloved place. We have known each other almost ten years now, there is history and there is heartbreak and there is growth between us. I suppose floating in and out of each other’s lives without any real anchor may be serving some purpose, but it haven’t been able to discern yet what that purpose might be…

These past weeks I have been experiencing a balanced peace that rests fully in a feeling of wholeness, a respite from the kind of relentless searching that has, in the past, created unrealistic expectations and deep sadness. I’ve never thought of this search as one fueled by depression as some would like me to believe. Rather, I think of it as ‘Desire and the Quest for the Beloved’ (subtitle for the book by Trebbe Johnson ‘The World is a Waiting Lover’). The search comes with an acknowledgement and awareness that what I most often need, I can find within the vast resource of me.

This is a fantastic book, and like my human friend who has a talent for appearing unexpectedly, this book too will often call to me from the shelf at surprising times. Heavily underlined, every third page or so is turned at the corner to yet another gem contained in the richness of its 297 pages. And it was no surprise that this book would be calling to me this morning after a tumultuous week of negotiating the aftermath of an unexpected visit from my aforementioned friend.

Today, I manage to open to exactly where I need to be. She (author Johnson on page 121) says,

 “How to tell BELOVED from beloved? How to extract the fruits of love and extract them to sweeten the life we have sole charge of, so that we can walk with Beloved no matter what mortal may be at our side? Love lures us as the orchid seduces the insect into its succulent orifice, and willingly the insect obeys, believing the cleverly adapted petals and stamens to be its own waiting mate. The insect zooms into the chamber of fertility and discovers there is no insect, but a being of another species, just striving to thrive, as all things do. There is no mate, but there is sweet pollen, and this the insect obligingly takes along as it gullibly approaches the next gorgeous lothario. Desire lures the insect in, and unrequited desire makes it depart, loaded with the very stuff that will keep insect imitators alive and insects seeking. How do we find the pollen in a love relationship and take it forth, and not get stuck snuggling in the lushness of the flower, demanding that the bloom transform itself into the bug we mistook it for?

     It’s hard….I believe that attaining at least some level of intimacy with the Beloved, the guide to the soul, who may or may not be the opposite sex of the questing human – or even come in human form – is entirely possible.”

I get this. It is a sweet place to be even if it lasts for only a definitive period of time. I always know I will find it again. I’ve come to believe that this aforementioned friend is the soulmate I most assuredly must have contracted with to seduce me out of this place, just when I think I know my heart, or know what I think I know, to remind me never to get stuck snuggling in the lushness of the flower. He appears, and in a swirl of attraction to the sweet pollen of desire, I have to once again reckon with the fact that he simply will never be the bug I have mistaken him for. I am challenged all over again to take the pollen of this love and go forth anew to share its power with the world in ways that I am destined to…

Luckily it does not take me long to re-engage with my Beloved. I began this breathtakingly beautiful day today filled with warmth, spring blossoms,

image 1

bright green,

image 2

and yoga practice in front of open window with sacred tree just outside.

P1140221

It’s been too long since I have totally given in to the rhythm of movement and repose that comes in clear spontaneous sequence. Delicious.  After, walking, the land I now call home envelops me in its massive embrace.   Large boulders simply command me to stop and commune when encountered.

P1140219

Each of these deeply rooted presences reminds me of where I can be immovable in anger awakened by this recent interruption to my peace.  Humbled by the fact that I might not ever see these boulders ever move, I know that even they too have had to shift from one place to another over time, and so too shall I.

Then there is the lush display of paperwhites that all opened simultaneously over night all at the same time in a breathtaking display of light and sensuousness,

P1140227

and line the path that invites the world to my front door.

P1140225

Later, I venture out and arrive home with gorgeous plant starts purchased from my young farmer neighbors up the road and it becomes a day to connect, and finally put hands in the dirt. I’ll have my new homemade raised beds filled before the week is out.

P1140224

It is the beginning of long days engaging with the rich variety of abundant growth all around me.

I have once again allowed myself to fall deeply in love with where I am

P1140223

and know it is enough.

this full moon

What a full moon! Potent light, potent vibration, this full moon moved through in a powerful way this month. It brought warmth and blossoms and cleansing. It led me to a new depth of experience and awareness. Rising in the eastern sky bright and clear

P1140173

and then moving in the shadows of the night while still reflecting the kiss of the sun,

P1140177

this full moon cut through the emotion of releasing old while its brilliant light illuminated the place in me that could simultaneously embrace the new. Perfect spring moon.

Being in the woods is particularly potent during this time. The sound of water rushing wildly now drifts through my open window with the moonlight. And in the sunlight, it sparkles and winks and invites me to enter into its mesmerizing flow.

P1140043

I find a boulder in the middle of the brook and lie down in the sun there. Time stops. And when I finally do move, it is with the slowest of gait, gaze scanning the woodland floor like the trilliums and trout lilies with their faces searching the rich ground for life.

P1140167

P1140146

I see baby fiddleheads and the tips of ramp leaves, food for the future if I pay attention. I sit on moss covered rocks that scream spring green and run my hand across the soft fuzzy carpet of this color.

P1140129

The elementals are surely dancing in this full moon. The warm breezes coil around the plethora of earth’s blossoms that are being fed by light and fire and water that has returned to warm soil.

P1140187

P1140186

I also find I am not as hungry as I have been the past few months. My body fills with less of the nutrient rich food around me.

The morning of this full moon, I look out my window to see a big tom turkey gracing the entrance to the woods.

P1140165

I’ve been seeing groups of turkey everywhere as I drive these days, usually groups of moms and their young ones. Occasionally I will see a male moving around the group with tail feathers fanned in anticipation, but never alone, moving quietly like this fellow this morning. I consider all the symbolism of this ‘earth eagle’, its adaptability, and its typically communal ways, wondering why he has appeared to me in this solitary form this morning. I feel the exploratory aloneness of his male essence, about to find sustenance in my beloved woods…

I think of my dinner the night before, lime and cilantro potatoes with zucchini (from the new acquired Fresh Indian cookbook**) with strips of crisp turkey bacon laid across the top.

P1140156

Hmmm. I feel the blessing of this meat, of the sustenance passed on to me in the sharing, not wanting to take for granted even for a moment what this magnificent creature has to offer moving forward into spring now.

The full moon has now passed. It has taken with it the last hint of winter.

 

**lime and cilantro potatoes with zucchini. ADAPTED from ‘Fresh Indian’ by Sunil Vijayakar…(for 2)

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1/2 small red onion, finely diced

finely grated or chopped garlic and fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon each

1 teaspoon cumin (ground or seeds)

scant 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 medium potatoes, cut into thick matchsticks and boiled until soft

1/4 cup hot water

1 small zucchini, cut into thick matchsticks and boiled until just soft

1 plum tomato (canned or fresh) finely chopped

additional seasoning to taste, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, curry or cardamom

1 tablespoon each chopped fresh cilantro and mint

juice and grated zest of 1/2 lime

salt

 

Heat oil in nonstick or seasoned frying pan and add onion. Stir fry over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add garlic, ginger, cumin and turmeric. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes then add potatoes and water. Cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes, then stir in tomatoes, zucchini and additional seasoning. Stir and cook on high for 3-4 minutes more, remove from heat And add fresh chopped herbs and lime. Season with salt and serve immediately.