Monday, January 17, 2011

Good Eats and Reads

  Who knew I could actually learn to love kale and turnips?  Thanks to CSA's like Full Circle Farm located in the picturesque Snowqualmie Valley of Washington state, we can enjoy fresh organic fruits and vegetables straight from the farm, which is wonderful during the long cold months of winter (though you can order year round).  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and these well run farms provide the best food for health, sustainability, and stewardship of our lands;  click on for Washington and Alaska deliveries, or Google Community Supported Agriculture to find a farm near you. They provide recipes right in the box so I have been turned on to many new vegetable dishes previously left un-pondered, like Cauliflower and Kale with Mustard Currant Dressing,  and Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip; and the Cumin Lime Rub for roasted corn has, frankly, changed my life! Who needs salt?
  We spent part of the week at our cabin on the Copper River, where the temperature hovered at 39 below. Exhilarating! There is still a long lead in the river (meaning it's not totally frozen), but the air was so cold that a hefty mist rose in swirls off the moving water and a lone black wolf was spotted skittering the opposite bank, no doubt searching for sustenance. Being holed up for days means you can get a good deal of reading done, so I devoured Mary Oliver's New and Selected Poems Volume Two. Stanley Kunitz's blurb on her anthology: "Mary Oliver's poetry reads like a blessing; her special gift is to connect us with our sources in the natural world, its beauties and terrors and mysteries and consolations." Since I spend so much of my time in the natural world, I am moved in a profound way by her ability to so deeply and artfully connect the human heart to the radiance and simplicity of animals, plants, water, sky, dirt and all things elemental.  She tops my list for one of the most celebrated poets in America.  I'll end this post with a simple poem of my own:

I woke this morning with a poem on my lips
 and my second thought was,
   Wow, my first waking thought was an unprovoked poem
     That’s never happened before
       And my third thought was thank you, Mrs. Brown (English Lit. Junior year)
        for teaching me the value of memorizing and learning by heart
         And my fourth thought was from now on, I think I would like to learn
           everything by heart                                           
             and my next thought was uh oh, I forgot to feed the dog last night
              and then I was irretrievably lost in thought and settled on:
               ...what’s for breakfast?

1 comment:

  1. Very nice, Monica. I like your poem, Mary Oliver and your intentions for this new blog.
    Welcome to the blog-o-sphere fellow traveler and kindred spirit!