This week, I was so inspired by Pope Francis’ visit to the USA, that I thought it would be an opportune time for some reflection. I am in awe of this man who, through a few speeches and blessings, can evoke such feelings of love, hope and revival, to all around him. To me, one of the most moving experiences of his visit was the inter-faith ceremony at the Ground Zero Memorial. That gathering and his message of peace, was simply phenomenal. It delivered exactly what our world hungers for; an acceptance of one another, while knowing that despite our differences and beliefs, love and peace will prevail. The children’s choir sang “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” They gave us a wonderful reminder, that each one of us can make a meaningful impact on this world.
As I reflect on the Pope’s impact, I realize that I began this journey of International Cuisine, to bring to all of you, a way to relate to the people of the world by sharing their food and tradition. With a little research of another culture and a few good recipes, we gain such a better understanding of each other. I know that in our journey, I personally have expanded my horizons and have a far better appreciation of people and the joys and struggles they have endured and continue to endure. Whenever I meet someone from one of the countries that we have explored, I feel an instant connection to them. Do you feel this too? Has this journey with International Cuisine given you this same reaction? Please share with me your thoughts, good or bad. Know that your views and reflections would be most welcomed by me, as we all can use a little encouragement along the way.
This month we also rejoice in the fall equinox. Autumn is a time to celebrate the harvest! This event is so significant in so many countries around the world; a time to be thankful for the bounty of the earth. As you may know, I occasionally mention our amazing organic garden (grown in zone 11, where almost nothing grows). This season we have been blessed to deliver over 600 pounds of organically grown produce to our local rescue mission (thank you compost pile, well water and especially my husband). Each time a delivery is made, the chef comments on how delighted he is to provide these fresh ingredients to his people in need. It has been extremely rewarding to make this offering and just one of the little things we can do to make a difference.
As I say goodbye this week, I leave you with a poem that my father wrote for my mother. They just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. My father, a retired Methodist minister, has always loved to write poetry, often inspired by trees. This poem was inspired by the turning of the fall leaves, but mostly celebrates my mom; an amazing woman, wife and mother. I am so proud to tell people about her. (The Pope talked about the importance of family, so it is only fitting that I share a little of mine with you.) Today, in her mid-eighties, she still teaches yoga twice a week at her local YMCA. This, along with her many other activities such as golf, swimming, and dancing, keeps her strong and her love for my father and all of her six children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren, fills her spirit.
My Everlasting Love Song
By: Quinn Beebe
When leaves of summer green turn to autumn red,
I note a sense of wonder in every turn of head;
Appreciating beauty creates a love of life,
And joy keeps on rising in spite of all the strife.
This paradigm in nature is multiplied in marriage
Where my autumn colored lady of very striking carriage
Adorns the wondrous fashions cloaking greater beauty
Such as her love of family beyond all sense of duty.
She has that deep incentive to find a destiny
that every seed expresses as it reaches heavenly;
Humility is noted in her lack of inner vision
that sees the gift of self as the apex of mission.
If there is judgment of the one who shares her daily loads,
It generates esteem as when a princess kisses toads.
The marvel of her energy in forms of exercise
Account for all the wardrobe in youthful wedding size.
Her reading of the printed page has been my education,
And the clipping of coupons meant fiscal salvation.
Her poetry’s uplifting in praise of our six offspring
And the music she taught them has helped them all to sing.
Her voice in song is worthy of a bird in a tree
And her memorable performances delighted me:
“His Eye Is On the Sparrow” and Markham’s, “The Cross”
And her “Hallelujah Chorus” can never be lost.
Now when I go down Starbuck and see the leaves are there,
I’m thankful for the number and beauty that they share,
But every reddish leaf I see in numbers beyond toll
Will symbolize the girl I wed and love with all my soul.
Until next week,