Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Ashes aren’t always the sign of a definitive end. When a wooded area has been rendered lifeless by flames, one of the first plants to signal the return of life is fireweed. The plant bears magenta-hued flowers and attracts bees with a delicate, jasmine-like scent. In Alaska, Canada and the Pacific Northwest, honeybees return to apiaries and create a delightful, fruity honey from the perennial herb.

Food lore contains many chapters that cover aphrodisiacs, but foods that are the by-product of transformation and change are truly magical. Fireweed is an ecumenical host, a tonic for times when living takes more than it gives back, when the myth of the phoenix rising from the flames feels like a cruel joke.

The next time you find yourself caught up in struggle, think of fireweed. Add it to your tea and turn destruction into favor. Fireweed honey is available at Zingerman’s.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Glass Petal Smoke

Nothing holds us like the thought that we are held and nothing comforts us like the notion that we are anchored. So why are we restless in the calm? Control is a skilled magician, throwing sand in our eyes when it comes to this truth—everything, including ourselves, lives in chaos and constantly changes.

We all have dreams that we can fly because a part of us knows we’re not just here—we’re everywhere. Our essence is reflected against the looking glass of all that our senses come into contact with; the lush petals of a flower, a spiral of smoke from an extinguished candle, shadows on the ground cast by the sun.

There is a part of all of us that imagines with open eyes, that reaches beyond vision and instinct, that remains composed in the face of mystery. That part lives where you've landed, between your screen and mine. Welcome to Glass Petal Smoke, the end of a burning cigarette, the exhalation of something new…