Mother’s Day 2013

I miss my mum

This is my seventh Mother’s Day without her.

And I miss her more each year, as my children grow and have kids of their own. Whereas once I needed mothering help, now I need advice on grandmothering.

Today K asked me to talk about her, as we drove along winding roads in the Santa Monica Mountains. I said she was petite and gentle, loving and cuddly. That she once had red hair. That she taught me to sew and spin and embroider and garden. He wanted more stories, but I don’t think the few anecdotes I shared gave him a good picture of my sweet mother.

All I know is, she is a huge part of who I am.

Miss you, mama. So, so much.

Chili Lime Sweet Potato Salad

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I’m on a sweet potato kick. This recipe’s great for picnics or potlucks as it can be made in advance. In fact, it improves if it sits for a day or so. Just don’t overcook the sweet potatoes.

Chili Lime Sweet Potato Salad

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, sliced finely
Good handful minced cilantro
Grated zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Toss the sweet potato cubes with 2 tablespoons of oil and some salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast at 425°F for about 25 minutes or until just tender.

Cool slightly, then mix with bell pepper, scallions and cilantro in a large bowl.

Shake or whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the salad, tossing gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Can be refrigerated for several days before eating.

Salmon Sweet Potato Patties

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These are oh-my-goodness good.

1 14 oz can salmon
1 small sweet potato, cooked, cooled, peeled and mashed (prick some holes in it and nuke for 6-8 minutes)
1 egg
4 scallions, minced
Handful of parsley, minced
Zest of one lemon, and half the juice

Drain the salmon. Remove the skin, but leave the bones in. Combine all the ingredients, mashing with a fork. Shape golf-ball sized pieces into patties, and cook in a nonstick skillet with a little olive oil over medium-low heat until nicely browned on each side (a few minutes will do it.)

how to support the suffering, without hurting oneself?

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How do I listen while a loved one sobs out her suffering, without taking on the pain myself? What’s the key? How do I keep perspective and equilibrium, but not become cold or indifferent?

Is this even a goal I should seek? Isn’t the world changed for the better by the passionate, not the dispassionate? If no-one takes on the pain of the abused and disenfranchised, how can things improve for them?

There are degrees of pain. “First world” versus “third world”, for example. But to the sufferer, it’s all pain.

First responders, therapists, charity workers, families of the maimed, these people (and many others) navigate the path of witnessing up close, even embracing, others’ pain without either “fingers in ears, lalalala can’t hear you” or going under themselves. I applaud them, and want to sit at their feet to learn how it’s done.

I don’t know the answers, but I’m getting practice anyway. I want to be happy. I choose to be happy. But I also want to be there for my unhappy friends, to be an ear, to be a rock, to help without hurting myself.

If you know what I’m talking about, tell me how you do it. Please.

camping

Desert globemallow

Charcoal kilns

Sierra Woolly Indian Paintbrush

The road to Thorndike campground

Shooting wildflowers

Kettle's on!

Mmmmm, breakfast!

Desert iguana

Trying to persuade Bodie to join me

Sycamore Trees

So much beauty. So much fun. So many cool places to return to. So many side roads yet to explore.

I fell in love with the planet all over again. And with the company.

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