the first sunrise

I recently realized my children had never seen the sun rise. Of course they are always up early enough (!) but from our house we can't see the horizon. So earlier this week we planned a sunrise expedition–a speedy early departure from home and hot cocoas in the car as we drove in the dark to a good vantage point. It was wonderful to see their surprise and amazement as the sky went through the spectrum of colors. Afterward we went to a local "greasy spoon" for breakfast and then off to school. It was a special and adventurous way to start the day, and a good reminder about the importance of taking time to celebrate the simple joys in life.

Later when I got back to my desk I read the quote of the day that I get by email from It said:

"May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being." –Apache Blessing

I've been carrying those words and the feeling from the sunrise morning with me and now I'm passing them along. Celebrate a sunrise the next chance you have!

silently growing

“The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence. The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.” —Blessed Mother Teresa

a summer in flowers

For many years my gardening philosophy was basically "If I can't eat it, why would I want to grow it?" Which is not to say I don't also deeply appreciate the aesthetics of plants. It's just that my favorite garden is primarily vegetables and fruits landscaped with edible flowers and herbs–punctuated by native plants and grasses. Because of this (and unlike a lot of gardeners) I've never really developed a strong interest in flowers.

But in the last few years, just to push myself out of my gardening rut I started dedicating a small area to cutting flowers. It's nice to have fresh flowers in the house all summer long plus plenty to give away. And even though I prefer the subtle tonal range of a primarily all-green garden I've realized it's also fun to go wild with color just in the flower patch.

Since I'm not a flower expert I usually stick to really easy things like zinnias, but each year I also add in something new. This year was my first foray into dahlias, which I must say were amazing–so huge and showy. And with a wide variety of color and shape, I can see why these flowers have an almost cult-like following of obsessed growers.

So now as summer is winding down and with it the last of the color in my garden, I wanted to celebrate the cheerful, whimsical, and frankly unlikely members of my garden. They've provided me with many moments of unexpected beauty when I was out weeding or harvesting my vegetables. Flowers, I salute you!