Beirut. Burundi. Paris. And untold, unacknowledged places across the globe.
Recent events have reminded me we live in a world full of humans and we humans have a powerful opportunity with every breath we take to poke holes in our world. These pinpricks can either offer us a glance into a parallel universe filled with beauty and hope and love and compassion and eternal grace or a devastating view into death and destruction and pain and heartache and loneliness and loss.
It's crushing when the latter is chosen.
I'm convinced the only way to respond to violence is to grieve deeply and then do the work of cultivating peace in our own souls. To find beauty and worth and truth in whatever takes our days from normal to holy. To invest ourselves in that which leads us to encounter the divine. To find whatever allows us to smile more honestly, to look deeply into the eyes of a stranger and find our own stories there, to pause within the course of a day and say "thank you" - to tap into whatever this is daily and give ourselves fully to this work of peace-making.
I paint for peace.
I practice yoga for peace.
I giggle and laugh and walk in the grass and breathe with intention for peace.
These are my tangible, flesh and earth and life prayers for peace.
These are the things that allow me to look into the eyes of the person behind the counter and smile with authenticity. These are the things that give me the grace to wave at daily unkindness and see a lonely, exhausted, and hurt person instead of cruelty. To acknowledge that I've been there too, I've felt that way too, I've acted out of those places too.
I don't know how I would handle what has happened across the ocean. I hope I never have to find out. My heart breaks for those who have lost so much. Here's what I do know: I can't solve all things, especially these big, global things. But I can do the work within that brings freedom and forgiveness and peace. And maybe, just maybe, that's enough.
May you find whatever fills you with joy and creativity and life, and with each moment know that when you take the time to entertain this thing you do, you are cultivating peace in this world.
This dish is a mainstay in our house. Full of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial bacteria, my kids and I try to get this in at least once a week. We mix up the grain and flavors, Indian-spiced rice [in lieu of quinoa], Chinese 5-spice [instead of paprika], and parsley or cilantro [rather than dill] being another favorite.
1 - 2 T. ghee or pure, extra-virgin coconut oil
1 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 c. water
1 c. fresh herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro
1/4 c. raw sauerkraut
Place uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Put rinsed quinoa into a medium size sauce pan and add water and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, reduce heat to low and cook covered until all of the water has been absorbed [approximately 7 - 10 minutes]. Once the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
While quinoa is cooking, drain salmon fillets and pat dry. Sprinkle each filet with a generous amount of sea salt, sweet paprika, and smoked paprika. Set aside.
Heat ghee or coconut oil in a small cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan that has a cover. Once melted, the ghee or oil should thoroughly cover the bottom of the pan. Once the ghee or oil is just beginning to sizzle, carefully place fillets skin side up in the pan. Cover immediately and let cook on medium-high heat for 3 - 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional minute or so. Gently remove skin if desired and discard [great for compost!].
Arrange cubed avocado, fresh herbs, sauerkraut and cooked quinoa on a plate. Place salmon on quinoa, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and sprinkle with sea salt.