Following a Leader to Peace

I’ve recently been part of the line up for dinner crowd… There I was where I’d never expected to be, in rehab, trying to get over a huge encounter with pneumonia.

But we all need to be finding our leaders for Peace… and following them… and being them.

I like to think that I am one; I work hard at it.

But it’s wonderful to know that when I am struggling to be even a capable follower in the lunch line, that someone is still leading. Peace is still being explored.

Six years ago the Jews, the Muslims, and the UUs met for a hummus cook-off. This year 42 women from 5 different traditions met to read the book of Ruth… (and yes, there was food!) I wasn’t present. I didn’t need to be, although I’m sorry to have missed it. Peace is growing.

It’s what we do; we practice leading and we practice following.

I’m so glad you’re part of my Peace Line… I’m glad when you follow. I’m glad when you lead. You need to lead now, ok? Because I’m barely able to follow. But someday, I’ll lead again. Until then. Peace.


Thanksgiving Peace 2016

Thinking of all of you wishing us Peace and thanksgiving in this tumultuous year.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t escape thoughts of Standing Rock and watching America break Peace with our Native Americans. I’m heart-broken, horrified and trying not to shut down. Need to stay aware of what’s happening.

We all have a delicate balance… Gratitude is always important. And there is so much for me to be grateful for.  I hope there is much for you…

And there are many who are frightened. And many who do without. Let us remember them. Let us be generous as well as thankful.

But let us also be thankful for food and family — and as one friend reminded me, but many of you celebrate — football. Demand Peace at the table. I know there’s not much hope for that in the den in front of the games! But cousins are together; let us be together in Peace.


Food, Diversity, Peace

I think Peace requires more talk about food.

I’ve known a few people in my life who don’t like food much, the eat to survive kind. I’ve known a few more who only eat what they’ve always eaten. But most people I know really like food and are willing to try something new.

Sara, the Religious Ed person at church, was talking to the little kids many of whom listed food like thai or sushi as their favorite foods. Kids will be adventurous if you are.

Part of Peace could be helping people understand that new people bring new and wonderful foods from their culture with them. Let’s be excited about what people eat! Let’s get to know what they eat. Let’s get to know them!

I laughed when i realized how international road side stops are. Filled with travelers from all over the country and world, offering foods from many places. Sure there are hamburgers, but there is often tacos, pizza, schwarma… Peace has good food!


Sacred Food, Sacred Peace

Food is an amazing thing — not simply because it is good but because it is good for you.

Nourishing the body, especially when you live in abundance, should be a pleasure rather than something you get to bye and bye or a hasty act committed on the way out the door.

We say we’re too busy. What is more true is that we don’t make the time. Everything else is more important than our good health. Even people who exercise may eat well but not savor the experience. We have about 10,000 tastebuds so we are meant to be delighted by food. (Your dog wolfs his food because he only has 1700 buds and your poor cat, less than half a thousand!)

And where there is delight, there should also be gratitude. So plan for delight, indulge your taste buds and savor the results.

We’re the lucky ones, you know. One in nine people in this world is hungry, suffers from food insufficiency. I read yesterday that that causes profound health problems all your life. Why is this a surprise?

I’m not a person who gardens. Dirt and I are no good friends. But I understand that the planting and tending and harvesting of food is also sacred.

And many of us who have food, bolt it and don’t linger. We waste it. What if we ate only what was in our house and all of what was in our house? What if we under-ate a bit. Not to starve ourselves, but to let grow accustomed to what if feels like to be satisfied, but not stuffed? Playing with our food could have a different connotation than pushing it around on our plates. We could, as this picture suggests be deliberate and meditative about its preparation. Good ingredients, carefully prepared for maximum health and savoring.

We could let our food be sacred. We could be as mindful about how it nourishes us as we are how good it takes. Both, because both are things of wonder. We’d certainly care more about how food is raised and how it is distributed. Let us make Peace with what we eat and how we eat it. And then we can help to make Peace by helping everyone have food to eat.


Peace in Food Fun

My friend Terri and her guy George make wonderful food. Then they eat it. They really enjoy both parts of that equation. Now once a week, we get to enjoy not only their beautiful food but also what the food engenders in us.

Today? Laughter. Every time we see something like this it enchants us. Nothing like a face.

So folks, let me introduce you to the potatoes… and where’s Waldo… or whoever the imp is…

Peace. have a great day and remember to smile at your food.


Peaceful Winter Food

When I was taking acupressure courses, one of them was on foods. Our teacher was very clear that we were to eat foods that were grown within a 50 mile radius and appropriate to the season.

If it’s winter, it must be root vegetables. And if you’re lucky, tasty bitter greens grown in a cold frame

To eat from our region is to honor the Mother Earth. It is to honor our bodies. It is to honor Peace.

It is to take from what is available to us which means to leave what must be available to others. So many times what the West needs is grown where those from the Southlands might have.

Let us eat in Peace.


Cheers! Peace Year!

Everyday matters. Every day matters.

This year is about finding and celebrating the Peace of every day. So that’s got to include Peace, right? And here’s the Priestess with her Bartender Buddy celebrating food. Nothing more mundane. Nothing more sublime. Thanks, Terri Peterson.

And there’s the beauty. Nothing more plebian than beans and rice, right? But this is festal food and raised to an art form. It both is and ain’t your grandma’s Hoppin’ John.

In so many ways, life is what we choose to make of it. Why not choose good food? Why not choose Peace? Every day? Everyday Peace.

Cheers and Happy New Year.


Exchange Student Peace, llvl

I still remember the day I left and the day I came home. August 5. June 13. On either end, I spent two weeks with the other exchange students; the first two studying Swedish, the last two touring Europe. But in between, a life-changing year.

My world was changed beyond recognition. At seventeen, you assume the whole world is what you know. This was such a gentle way to understand how much bigger the world really is. My understanding of culture, politics, religion and love exploded and never fit back into the same box.

I was lucky, no doubt about that. The family was great. My Mama was a great second mama. And she was seasoned. She’d already sent one child off and had one child in. She’d send off 3 more. But we were a great fit. 40 years later I was privileged to do her memorial. Two of her girls, my Swedish sisters, would come to my wedding. And later to my sister’s memorial. Family was created and then it was nurtured.

And so the first part of my stay with them was at this summer house that I’m staying in now. Two of the sisters I met that first day were together yesterday. We went to lunch with my friend Lorraine. And we laughed. And ate. And looked at glorious scenery. And visited the garden where Mama’s and Papa’s ashes were interred.

These women have taught me to look for sisters and for friends in unlikely places. The boundaries between us were not large. But when you’re taking first steps, that’s a good thing… Peace is made up of small steps. Love and laughter and food ease the way. Beautiful views can help. So? off we go… more Peace. More Laughter. More Food. More glorious Nature!


Slightly Connected Peace, llvl

It’s so sweet having good friends scattered over this country. There is much to be grateful to the Rotary Exchange Program for!

It’s always seemed weird that these separate little worlds don’t know one another. Well, my friend Lorraine knows everyone, because either we lived in the same town for a while, or people have come through Kristinehamn (K-hamn) and stopped to see me at Lorraine’s house. Altogether, it’s a pretty fine thing.

But this week, there was a little breakdown. Margita, in whose house I lived in K-hamn when I was here, came to Fjällbacka to pick me up at Margareta’s summer home. They’d never met before. Marg had lived at my family’s when my brother was an exchange student in Mönsterås in 1967-68. So there were Marg and her daughter Katarina and her boyfriend Mikke. (We were all sort of collapsed in heat after the cake party for Marg’s name day. Yep, gotta celebrate not just your birthday, but your name day as well. More cake. And this was right in the middle of — don’t you love this — housewife week, when one often has cake parties. But hey, it’s cake. I can slide right over the political correctness!)

But Margita came and we went and got pizzas and clambered aboard Marg’s boat and whisked ourselves out to an island in the middle of this rocky bay. Oh, the water was amazing, cool and refreshing. Nothing like the time i was there with my parents and the water was well… frrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeezing comes to mind! But Betty went in, so we all did, squealing all the way!

Ah, it was nice to have those edges meet. so sweet, so sweet. sisters of my heart. Marg’s very clear about being my “big” sister, because she has me by a year. And since I’m, shall we say, down one big sister, i’ll take it! Sweet, wonderful crazy time.

Worlds colliding and enjoying one another. Isn’t that what we have to learn to do? To sit at one another’s house and eat cake and on one another’s boat and eat pizza and to laugh, to laugh, to laugh. If the Rotary know this… shouldn’t everyone! This isn’t a secret to keep, this is a sacred truth to shout aloud!