Begin with a Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

LAKE MACBRIDE— It was a glorious moonrise last night with a spectacular lunar eclipse this morning. Stars could be seen throughout the sky, and neighbors turned on their lights to come outside and look.

The Milky Way was evident, and Orion’s belt was high in the southern sky. Even though I studied astronomy briefly under Dr. James A. Van Allen back in undergraduate school, I know the names of few constellations. Too, I feel no compulsion to name everything I see in the sky, but would rather take in its twinkling light just looking.

Who doesn’t want to live in glory and the spectacular on this blue, green, and increasingly brown sphere?

The day began earlier in the kitchen. I checked the kale in the dehydrator and rotated the trays. Having run out of ideas, and with a full freezer, turning kale into small flakes to be added as a soup ingredient is the last thing to do. A little will go a long way, and plenty of kale remains growing in the garden to be eaten, given away, and processed. Kale has been a success story this year.

I bottled the red pepper flakes made from Bangkok peppers and the dust from the funnel made me sneeze. Last night I processed a jar of whole dried peppers leftover from a previous year—a second vintage of red pepper flakes. My intent is to use the Bangkok first, give some away, and whatever is left next season will be composted. Half a dozen habanero peppers were in the jar. They’ll go into the compost today.

Wheat Straw

Wheat Straw

Morning coffee yesterday was with a friend at a grocery store in Iowa City. We discussed food security, politics and people we knew in common. The store was selling plastic bags of baled wheat straw. Why on earth anyone would want such a thing when the local hay is in is beyond me. But there it was.

Importantly, I reflected on my post on gatherings. Writing it helped clarify things, and as I picked hot peppers and tasted the Red Delicious apples from the tree, it occurred to me that this life, my life going forward, shall be reduced to a few important things. While working for the logistics company, I learned it is important to take care of ourselves. Without that, it is impossible to get anything else done. Once we are physically, socially and economically secure, the focus turns outward to working in society. To mitigate our changing climate, to abolish nuclear weapons, and to protect others with food security, economic justice and public health. This is a life worth living.

As I enjoyed my celebratory spread on crackers, it seemed much was possible—a sound foundation to sustain a life in a turbulent world.

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