Walking the Labyrinth
Roses on the path,
Clean shiny stone,
Color splashed across the floor.
All this and more
Make up the journey
Of the labyrinth.
I hope wherever you are… you’re drinking in the beauty of this first day of Spring. Continue reading
Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, Grow, grow.”
Many summers ago a dear friend taught me the art of baking Italian bread. Stir the little yeasties gently in one direction so as to not upset them. Give them a little sugar to help them grow… After several risings, and shaping into long beautiful loaves, the bread would finally be done. We’d carefully saw slices from the delicate warm loaves and eat them, sometimes with butter and some times with chunks of cheddar cheese. That summer we made omelettes using fresh vegetables from the garden, and though my memory is fuzzy, I think we ate off of hand made plates. Little did I know way back then, the seeds of the slow food movement were being planted in my soul.
I think one of the most meditative things we can do is to slow down and prepare the food we put in our bodies. The miracle of life is in everything we eat: it nourishes us, comforts us, and sustains us. When we become mindless about essentials, we lose ourselves in the mad dash of a face paced existence.
ALICE WATERS, Chef: “When you eat fast food, you not only eat the food that is unhealthy for you, but you digest the values that comes with that food. And they’re really about fast, cheap and easy…Probably the greatest lesson I have learned from the Edible Schoolyard project is that, when children grow food and they cook it, they all want to eat it.Alice Waters teaches slow food values in a fast food world.”
July 23, 2015 at 6:20 PM EDT PBS News Hour.
I haven’t lost my love for baking bread and recently I have learned how to bake artisan loaves. My gift to you is this tutorial. Slow down and bake a loaf for yourself.
For one loaf you will need:
Cast Iron enameled bakeware such as Le Creuset, 2 cups water, 2 Tablespoons of yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 5-6 cups flour, 2 Tablespoons of butter (optional)
Start by putting your ungreased bakeware into a 450 degree oven. This preheats the bakeware which is the secret to baking crusty artisan bread. Leave the bakeware in the oven until you are ready to put the bread dough in it.
This recipe is made in a Bosch or Kitchen Aid mixer. You can make it by hand also.
Pour 2 Cups warm water into mixing bowl. Add yeast, sugar, salt, and melted butter (optional).
Wait until the yeast is activated…
Turn mixer on and begin adding flour 1 cup at a time. You will know when you have added enough flour as soon as the dough cleans the side of the mixing bowl.
The second the dough cleans the side of the bowl, set the time for 5 minutes and let the mixer continue to knead. After 5 minutes turn the mixer off and put a clean towel over the bowl allowing the dough to rise for 20 minutes or until doubled.
After the dough is doubled in size turn it out onto a floured counter or bread board and gently knead into a ball.
Place the ball of dough into the bakeware. You can cut deep slits in the crust for extra beauty if you’d like.
Take the bakeware out of the oven and remove lid.
Return bakeware to oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and bakeware. Cool on wire racks.
A friend of mine had two hummingbirds fly into her house the other day. She said they had to wear themselves out before she could scoop them up and set them free. There’s a message in that isn’t there. Imagine how much more energy we could have, how much more creative we could be, how much more love we could offer…
Sending love from the beautiful Southwest 🙂
I declared today a “vacation day” and drove to one of my sacred spaces in the mountains. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to see a bald eagle perched atop a tree. It was a beautiful sight to behold; especially when it lifted off and flew away with fluffy white legs blowing in the wind.
Today I longed to see the majestic bird again. I kept my eyes up, searching the treetops as I drove. It wasn’t meant to be.
How many other birds and wildlife did I miss searching for what I thought to be the prize?
How often in life do we search for what we believe to be the answer, when there are miracles right before our eyes…eyes that do not see because they are looking for something different.
Therein lies the gift of mindfulness; to be present for what life is offering up. Tara Brach asks us to clear a path in the forest of our mind. What might we find if we sit and wait for what appears?
Look what I found when I came home.
Step Off the Merry-Go-Round
How many times have you heard the idiom, “ Get me off of this merry-go-round!”?
It’s an expression that conjures up a familiar, commonly shared image of someone “mindlessly” attempting to run faster than their legs can carry them; often but not always, directed by someone other than the person who is doing the real running. Around and around we go, doing, doing, doing; believing we don’t have a choice and resenting the demands placed on our time that keep us from doing what we think we would “rather” be doing.
One mother complains, “I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom.” A college student says, “It’s like being in prison; my time is not my own; if I’m not studying, I’m working, and if I’m not working, I’m studying.” A grandfather says, “I want to write my family history, but my kids count on me to babysit…
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A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to walk this beautiful labyrinth and I learned an important lesson. If my eye was on the goal…that is reaching the middle, I got dizzy and frustrated; but when I was fully present and kept my eye on the path, I saw the beautiful rose petals laid beneath my feet along the way. I smelled the honeysuckle and heard the song of the birds.