Thursday, May 5, 2016


There are things we do every day, but not every season. 
When spring arrives, we make time for after dinner bike rides to burn off residual energy and watch the girls fly down the street. Abby told me she likes riding her bike because she feels grown up and free, and I can remember feeling the same way at her age. Wanting so badly to be older, grasping at any scrap of independence handed my way.

Every day we go for a walk. Sometimes long, sometimes short, but enough to observe the seasonal patterns. This is the time of year the male birds put out their best calls, and the geese fly in formation to their fave breakfast spots across town. The trees are beginning to bud, some into beautiful floral displays. We smell the cow manure compost drift in on breezes from the nearby farms, readying the land for planting. 

Every morning we water our sprouting plants, and check the weather to decide how many layers are necessary. Every evening, I do yoga. I never regret the new space created in my body after a day of contracting and contorting. I am moving away from a more restorative winter practice and into a more vigorous spring practice, balanced with poses that stretch my running-weary hips and legs. 

A foggy morning
Every day, I catch myself looking for signs that the warm weather is here to stay. How my outdoor perennials are coming up, the number of mornings we go out without mittens, barbecuing dinner in warm afternoon sun. I know summer is a given, but spring can be fickle and I crave predictability (perhaps I should work on that...) in an otherwise unpredictable season.

Raspberry bush
Every week I check the grocery store for more local produce. Hydroponic tomatoes are in, cellar apples are still out and sweeter from the winter storage, cucumbers and leafy greens are starting and asparagus should be soon, too.

Every morning before we go to school, but after we've eaten breakfast and dressed, I like to hide away in my bedroom for a stolen moment or two and read something inspirational to start the day. Today, I share with you this poem from a modern master of communion with nature, Mary Oliver.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

God bless preschool teachers and the adorable crafts they lead 

One of our go-to healthy snacks are protein balls. I eat one on the way out the door in the morning to ward off the hangries. I pack them in Abby's lunch so she will have energy to learn. I bring them on playdates because they look like cookies and mamas usually appreciate that I am tricking their kids into eating healthy (mine too!). 

Chocolate Protein Balls
Combine in food processor: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 scoop protein powder (we use that green powder you see from Manitoba Harvest), 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 cup flax seed, 1/4- 1/2 cup tahini, 1/4 cup honey. 
I sometimes add pumpkin seeds, and sometimes oats. Blend well. Sometimes I take this out of the blender bowl and if it's not quite the right texture to hold a ball shape, I'll add more tahini or honey and stir with a spoon. 
Roll into balls, put on a parchment-lined baking sheet in freezer for one hour. Store in fridge or freezer so they hold their shape. 

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