June 30th, 2006

Reading to Dragon

#52 - The Haunted Mountain

by Mollie Hunter

This was one of my favourite books when I was a child – one of those books I read again and again and again. It’s set in the Scottish Highlands, in the Cairngorm Mountains, and it’s the tale of a farmer’s years-long battle with the “sidhe,” or faerie people, after he decides to plow a plot of land traditionally left empty as a “gift” for them. As an adult, I was reminded of the story when I visited the Cairngorms, and told this story to my husband as we hiked the Lairig Ghru, the mountain pass which features prominently in the tale.

A few days ago, my son started asking about fairy tales, and this one came immediately to mind, so we’ve been reading it at bedtime for the past few nights, finishing it up this evening. It’s every bit as charming as I remember, and my son enjoyed it, too – even found it a bit scary, which is pretty unusual for him to admit. :D And the ending still makes me cry, just like it did all those years ago. This is a great book, and if you can get your hands on a copy, I’d highly recommend it. 10/10


DailyOM: Conscious Harvest

Conscious Harvest
Growing Your Own Food

Growing a garden of food at home is an experience anyone can enjoy. Even a hanging basket of rosemary or a cherry tomato plant in a pot on the windowsill can enhance your connection with the cycle of life. If you have space outdoors, the green and blooming colors of the edible delights you are growing will decorate any view while tempting you to enjoy the outdoors. The edible plants we nurture allow us to literally taste the fruits (or vegetables or herbs) of our labor while helping us more consciously participate in the circulating energy of nature.

Allow yourself to begin slowly and simply, so that you can learn to dance with nature's intricate orchestrations. There are many experienced gardeners out there to assist you as you choose seeds or small plants to start your garden. As you learn to heed the seasons, soil, sun, frost, and shade, you become more than a mere spectator of life's cycle. Instead, you step into the role of cocreator and enhance what you nurture. No matter how large or small the size of your garden, you can benefit from growing your own organic, fresh, and nutritious food while also reveling in the depth of flavor and texture that comes from plants that have been well-tended, nurtured, and loved. As we appreciate the food we've grown, we can recognize the care that farmers put into the produce most of us buy at the supermarket. With this new understanding, we can acknowledge the roles other living creatures fill as participants in cultivating the cycle of life. We may even learn to peacefully coexis! t with the animals and insects that share perhaps too great an interest in our garden.

When we grow our food, we participate more fully in nature's cycles and form a closer bond with Mother Earth. Knowing how to grow your own food allows for a sense of freedom and pride that you can feed and provide for yourself, one of the most basic necessities. Gratitude may fill us as we marvel at the beauty of nature and the majesty of the universe that orchestrates such natural wonders. When we allow our appreciation of life to expand, we harvest so much more than food and the taste is that much sweeter.