Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipper

The first time I ever remember talking to trees I was riding in the backseat of my parents car.  I was about 8 or 9 years old. The road to our house was tree lined with beautiful old pines and I used to simply greet them 'hello trees' or 'goodbye trees', silently to myself as we passed by. I felt an intrinsic connection with them growing up as I spent a lot of time making forts in the woods. Maybe it's an only child thing......(that's what I say when I admit something that might sound strange to everyone disclaimer of sorts). The trees were indicators, of season changes, of subtle changes in weather, they were home to animals and I felt the need to honor them as living things from this young age.

I have a very visceral reaction when I see trees being cut down. I had a reaction to a piece of land being cleared near my studio the other day and I thought I might have to pull the car over so I could throw up. (If you knew me you would know that I will do anything NOT to throw up, and so this kind of physical reaction is very real for me.) I saw the stumps and loose gravel left behind and earth that had been moved and I shivered at the devastation. I felt sad for the trees that had been cut and for those that are left and have had to sustain without their brethren. Call me nuts, I've been called worse. It's no wonder I became a vegan.

blog nat cathedral walkingMy man and I love to walk in nature. The first time we went for a walk together we spent the entire afternoon nearly silent, quietly pointing out birds and other wildlife, treading lightly and observing our surroundings. It's our favorite way to immerse ourselves in nature. He's a bird lover and he has taught me so much about how to distinguish hawks from vultures in flight, I can get it right nearly 90% of the time now. We look for animal tracks, scat (the proper term for animal crap.....) and listen to the birds. This morning we giggled as we heard a motor mouth bird that sounded like R2D2 from Star Wars. I am constantly astounded by nature and it's ability to adapt.

treerockThis tree looks like its actually eating the giant rock to the right.

As a potter, the ability to adapt becomes a requirement. Clay is an ever changing medium. I fell in love with it because the history and possibilities within the craft itself are vast and ever-changing. Clay is affected by air temperature, heat, humidity and touch. I look at each pot as a 'conversation' (not all conversations are good ones however!) and move through the process of making pottery with the understanding that as much as I might THINK I'm in control, I'm simply not. I teach my pottery students "the Joy is in the Journey", in an effort to encourage them to create without judgement and without expectation of a particular outcome. It's amazing to witness the first time someone's hands meet clay on a spinning wheel, there is pure joy in that moment for the student and the teacher.

treelightThis tree has grown at a complete right angle to access its own bit of sunlight from the canopy.

We could all stand to embrace joy a little more, to bend without breaking and to revel in our own interconnectedness.  I think these photos speak the cliche 'thousand words' as examples of  nature's ability to adapt and still thrive.  I suppose I'm waxing a bit philosophical (maybe that's what turning 40 does to a girl). I think pursuing my passions, eating delicious food, spending time with loved ones and laughing a lot are key ingredients for me to thrive. I'm coming to the end of a 14 day detox and after more than a week of eating nothing but veggies, fruit, brown rice, healthy oils and spices (along with the prescribed detox herbs and supplements the Dr. gave us) it's hard to think of what to put back into the clean vessel of my body. Nuts, seeds and legumes were what I missed most from my vegan diet and so this afternoon I whipped up a batch of hummus. I used to make my own hummus all the time but in recent years I've relented to 'taking the easy' route and buying prepackaged brands. Not only was the home-made batch delicious but I quickly realized how much more cost effective (not to mention, healthier) making our own hummus could be. So with that I share with you........

Easy Home Made Hummus:

by The Vegan Potter

hummus (do me a favor an at LEAST tag this blog if you share the recipe on any other social media or print!) I tend to make huge servings of things despite only feeding a family of two so feel free to cut this recipe in half if you’re less of a pig than I am.

2 cans Garbanzo Beans (fancy name for chick peas) and YES I use canned, I’m sorry I have just never gotten into soaking my own beans, I know, I know, it’s SO easy. So YOU do it if you want to. I’m over it.

2-3 Tbl Tahini (tahini is the fancy name for ground up sesame seeds. You can find it in the health food aisle at the grocery store or at a heath food store, probably in with either nut butters or oils etc. )

Juice from ½ a lemon

2 Tbl EVOO (this is what the fancy chefs on the Food Network call Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 tsp salt (I used garlic salt, I’m addicted to it.)

1 Roasted Red Pepper (this is certainly optional if you hate them, you can substitute roasted garlic or olives too. YES, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers, it’s no biggie. I puree them with the beans but you can also dice your garlic or pepper or olives and toss them in before serving if you like your hummus more chunky.)

¼ cup water (you will only need to add this slowly if your hummus needs help blending)

Throw it all in a food processor and blend until smooth or desired consistency. Top with smoked paprika and fresh parsley and enjoy! I eat mine with carrot chips.