i’ve mentioned kathleen norris before, but can i just say again that I LOVE HER! she always seems to give voice to things i can not and i’ve found her to be a great friend these last several months.
the sermon at christ church on sunday was about finding god in the ordinary – something kathleen norris loves to write about. it is the main subject in her book the quotidian mysteries: laundry, liturgy and women’s work. i find great hope when the things i’ve been thinking about intersect with something like a sermon or a conversation with a friend. it helps me believe that god in fact does try to speak to us, and the more we engage with him and one another, the more we will know him.
kathleen says that “dailiness can lead to such despair but also be at the core of our salvation.” it is in the everyday that we must eat and drink and remember that it is god who makes even those simple things possible – from our very ability to do it, to our acquisition of those physical things which sustain us. every day we make clean what is dirty, cook, care for those around us, yada yada yada. and god is in all of that. he is in us.
kathleen quotes st. ignatius who says, “God is so great that all things give him glory if we mean they should.” amen to that! what hope and promise in that truth. hmmm…with truth like that, and a beautiful day, i might just have to admit that i’m encouraged. and tomorrow, i will have to be filled up again, and the next day, and the next, yada yada yada…
you can take my hiatus from garden updating as a good sign that the chipmunks have won. yes. they did. here are a few beautiful red juliette tomatoes peaking through the vines:
and, then they got eaten. by chipmunks. well, i did get to eat a handful, but mostly those little rodents ate them up. despite my bird netting and cement blocks around the edges of the frame. despite my pleas, pounding on the windows whenever i caught them in the act and rushing out doors to scare them away with screaming in my pajamas.
the basil is thriving however, and perhaps you shall get a picture of some homemade pesto…perhaps. and, wonderful news, the strawberries are a double crop – they are blooming again!
oh yeah, to insure that i actually get to eat a strawberry this go around, i poisoned the chipmunks. oh yes i did. 🙂
so i’m not too excited about the state of the basil i grew from seed…it is super dinky. and with the disappointment of the strawberries, i decided to supplement my basil. i bought the “live basil” from price chopper’s produce section for $4, cut the two plants into six and stuck ’em in right next to my itsy bitsy basil.
i know my basil will keep growing and will eventually be eaten, but it’s nice to have some instant gratification.
also the tomatoes are coming along…
and, again because of the plight of the strawberries, i have covered them with “bird netting” – hopefully it will keep the squirrels and chipmunks the eff away. yeah. i said it. sort of.
here’s the current state of the garden…
i will probably plant spinach and lettuce in their original squares when it gets cooler. and once those tomatoes take off, get ready to partake in their juicy goodness!
bad news everybody. there are no strawberries. and by that i mean, there are NO strawberries…except for one stubby deformed one. do you remember all the pretty blooms on the FORTY EIGHT strawberry plants i lovingly put into the earth? it was so promising…then this happened.
and i knew it might happen…i really did. when we constructed our awesome “cage” there was one tiny thing i was worried about…
see that gap? it’s much more visible now because all the lettuce and spinach has been harvested. it is the perfect size for a chipmunk and all of his little friends.
so, we solved the problem (a little too late) by putting another board into the garden, so now it looks like this…
but man am i disappointed. i felt like such failure and i seriously contemplated pulling out every one of the plants and running over them with the lawn mower while screaming obscenities directed at little rodents (well, i did do a lot of screaming).
ah well. thankfully strawberries are perennial plants, so they’ll come back next year. perhaps i will actually get to taste one or two homegrown berries next summer.
A couple of months ago, I read a book by Kathleen Norris called “The Cloisture Walk.” It was awesome. She is a married (well now widowed) Protestant woman who spends several months at a time living in a Benedictine monastery.
She is a delightful writer, deep thinker and widely read herself so she draws on the saints of old.
One particular quote resonated with me again as I re-read it this morning. It’s attributed to Psuedo-Macarius, a fourth century monk:
“The heart is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and there are also lions; there are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace – all things are there.”
I feel like a living paradox much of the time…I give voice to those dragons, but I give voice to Jesus too. Oh that the kingdom would grow in and around me…
Thanks Jesus for the great cloud of witnesses, thanks for your spirit that is transforming us, thanks for your deep deep love and wide wide mercy.
smoked gouda and spinach stuffed chicken. easy and delicious.
and the spinach was extra yummy since it came from the backyard!
so today i harvested spinach (for smoked gouda and spinach stuffed chicken later this week) and some lettuce for tacos…yay!
here’s the before…
one lettuce square.
if i remember to take a picture of the meals made with these greens, i’ll post that too.
here’s the beginning of a strawberry…
joanna keeps picking the flowers off the strawberry plants.
and here’s the current state of the garden…
the empty looking squares have tiny basil sprouts in them!