Thursday, June 27, 2013

how does your garden grow?

Henry manages a network of over 50 gardens at schools, churches and non-profit organizations across Charlotte where produce is cultivated for those who need more vegetables - and more love - in their diet. Arkon and I had the nicest meeting with him out in the fresh Tuesday morning air to discuss an initiative to mobilize backyard gardeners in the effort. "There are two kinds of people," he said. "Those who operate from a place of abundance and those who operate from a place of scarcity. People who garden always seem to be the abundant type." I think about the gardeners I know and this really does ring true. I've let my small garden plot go and there's probably a metaphor in that, too. I need to bring it back to life and see what it has to teach me about mine. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June wears gardenia perfume

June wears gardenia perfume. She loves the fresh coolness of a morning with the day ahead unfurling like a flower bud. She loves a christening, a commencement, a confirmation, a wedding. And cries at all of them. She's crazy about Ella Fitzgerald, loves Johnny Cash. She dreams of Assisi, of an old house in Paris covered in vines, of the ocean. June stops at farm stands and peeks inside country churches. She walks in salmon-colored sneakers and carries a straw bag. June wears her heart on her sleeve.        

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shelf life

You read about a gazillion books to win a tiny plastic monkey and a coupon for a free Wendy's Frosty. The library summer reading program ranks right up there with lemonade stands and homemade popsicles. It's totally awesome and I would sign up this very day except that the librarians card you and I've aged out. I have to create my own summer reading program now and so, probably, do you. But that's almost as fun. There needs to be at least one good mystery on the list, a couple of great novels (ranging from classic and contemporary), some non-fiction to feed your curiosity and a biography of someone particularly fascinating. I include piles of picture books and some YA selections (from the young adult section), some cool coffee table tomes on art and design, even a juicy cookbook or two. A library card is a fine thing any time of the year, but in the summer it's a ticket to wonderful.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

summer medley

Iced tea with raspberries and lime slices and mint, served in a mason jar. Blue-green glass. Vibrant geometry on a dinner plate. A lush bouquet with succulents tucked in. Designer flip flops. Turquoise and kiwi and melon colors. Summery goodness gathered by Layne.

Monday, June 10, 2013

flowers for sending

From Aster to Zinnias, these new seed packet stamps make me want to write a bouquet of letters. Or plant a flower garden. Or both.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

love & healing

A nearly palpable sense of wholeness comes about from hearing Becca Stevens' story. She is the longtime Episcopal chaplain at Vanderbilt University and Snake Oil is her book about pain, love, healing and transformation. In reaching out to abused women, she connected with her own pain from childhood sexual abuse and the tragic death of her dad. From these ashes rose Magdalene, a residential community in Nashville for women struggling to overcome addiction and life on the streets, then Thistle Farms, a social enterprise which provides the women with not just a living wage, but enables them to transform others through the natural healing products they manufacture. And just this month they added the Thistlestop Cafe, also run by Magdalene residents and graduates. Snake Oil is a story of terrible threads woven into an amazing, life-giving tapestry. It is a holy book of sadness and hope, prayers, recipes and redemption. I felt blessed by reading it.