Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oregon....A Great Place To Be

Near Cape Meares on the Oregon coast
 So, Jon was right....Summer in Oregon is pretty sweet.  Here are some photos from some recent excursions.  I'll let them speak for themselves.
Chelsea and I at McNeil Point with Mt. Hood behind us

The Green Lakes Basin area with the South Sister behind

Wildflowers are everywhere now!

Hiking in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area with Brokentop in the distance

The North Sister and Middle Sister from McKenzie Pass

Thursday, August 18, 2011


This week saw the departure of our omnipresent waterer-garden-tender-in-chief, Ben. We will miss his among other things his constant presence, his spontaneous outbursts of songs, humor, detailed cleanings, and knowledgeable gardening. Though Ben is off to his next adventure his presence remains, especially in our garden. We are thankful and wish you well, Ben.

As I was taking my turn watering today, it struck me about gardeners incessant giving away of produce. Please don't get me wrong, gardening is a lot of work. But really we are just helping the plants grow. The food they produce isn't something I made. We tended the beds, we watered, weeded, loved, but the food came from the plant. It is a magical, awesome gift. The produce though I worked for it, it's not mine. I wish we could view every thing from the earth as not our but a sacred gift from the Divine.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One last blog

Oh, irony: you're a jerk.

I knew from the time I got back to Portland that I wouldn't really get to see much of the harvests from the gardens here. However, as the leaves bushed out and the beginnings of fruits began to show I became a little hopeful. My last blog on the Cincinnati house's website had me woefully looking at almost-but-not-quite-yet-ripe tomatoes. Sure, we'd gotten a few early ones, but it wasn't the cornucopia that I'd desired. Likewise, the green beans are just beginning to show, we've had three tomatoes (out of an anticipated 1000+ for the season), and the bush peas probably will be ready for some picking in about two days. At least the zucchini cooperated.

So, just like last year, I'm reminded of the feelings that washed over me as I stood in our backyard watering a garden I'd never see again. There was the sense of accomplishment for having finished the year in the community house. There was sadness for not being able to remain physically present with the congregation that had supported me the past year. Mostly there was a presence of "It's okay." Life would continue on, somebody would get at least a little more from the garden, and many paths will cross again somewhere down the road.

I've been very grateful for the community that has welcomed all four of us this year. From the very beginning I have felt accepted into the congregation here. Even the bevy of fellow gardeners next door at the community garden has been more than willing to help out or give advice (English language not required) and spare produce. While I will certainly miss it when I leave, it's good to know that these people and those places exist, not only for me, but also for the others who will at some point in the future find themselves in the arms of such a loving and caring entity.

Thank you, Portland, for welcoming me as me and sending me as a better person. I certainly hope our paths do cross again. May the road rise with you and peace to you on your journeys.