I love the changing seasons, especially summer to fall. It’s always marked by a time of beautiful transition. Farewell to long, hot days and busy outward movement. Welcome in crisp, cool mornings and evenings, earlier bedtimes, and a shift of energy inwards. More baking, reading, knitting, yoga, sleep, snuggling (kitties, husband and baby!) and with any luck this winter, more rain to heal our parched earth!

This drawing in of inward energy reminds me of my most favorite ceremony to honor the four directions, a Unitarian Universalist ceremony:

East (Yellow)

The East holds the promise that each day is new,
That fresh new beginnings await me and you;
Although I don’t know what tomorrow may bring,
I have courage and hope and my own song to sing.

South (Red)

The South kindles fire of passion and power
To make the heart race and open the flower;
It’s a flame that can warm or burn out of control:
Desire that moves me, makes me human and whole.

West (Black)

The West welcomes darkness, invites me to dream,
And reminds me my fears may not be what they seem;
I offer the tears of my grief to the earth
To water the seeds that wait for rebirth.

North (White)

The north offers silence, shelter, and rest;
it’s the home of the stillness that comforts distress;
I can go to this place, because it lives within me;
When I’m quiet and still, I can just let it be.


The flame in the center, the core and the heart
Is the source of all beauty, peace, joy and art,
Unfailing, eternal, lighting the way,
It’s the love and compassion I share every day.

Completing the Circle

From the east and the south, from the west, north and center,
We welcome each other and bid all to enter
Our circle of joy, of love and of light;
We walk together in beauty to make the world right.


Plate it up darling!

Plate it up darling!

So – the real inspiration for this post: my sweetie and I just devoured every bite of this yummy lunch. Try it out for your own family! All ingredients are organic and vegan.

1. Fall bean stew

– roast a big red kuri squash, slice in half, face down, at 400 degrees for 45 min. or until soft; store in refrigerator
– soak about 1 lb. of pinto beans for 24 hours
– rinse and drain, meanwhile saute 7 cloves of garlic and an onion in enough olive oil that it doesn’t stick; add a generous few shakes of each of these delicious seasonings: curry, turmeric, garam masala and cumin
– dump the soaked beans into the garlic spice mixture, cover in water, and simmer covered until the beans are soft- saute a crown of broccoli, a green bell pepper and some thinly sliced green cabbage, add to beans when done
– scoop the red kuri squash into the VitaMix, add a few cups of vegetable broth and blend
– add the roasted kuri squash to the bean stew to give it a rich, intensely flavored base
– season as needed

Spinach with gomasio and roasted garlic

Spinach with gomasio and roasted garlic

2. Spinach delight

– roast sesame seeds over a low flame with salt until golden; blend into a powder in a Vitamix (this delicious seasoning is called “gomasio” and is incredible on salads, veggies, or any other savory creation)
– lightly steam a huge family size bin of spinach for a couple of minutes (I use Organic Girl even though I hate all the packaging because it’s already washed and saves major time), put into a bowl and set aside
– saute 6 cloves of garlic in olive oil, put on top of spinach with a few spoonfulls of the gomasio
– drizzle with olive oil and/or Braggs liquid aminos if desired

3. Steamed beets & potatoes

– to complete the stew and spinach dishes, add a heaping side of delicious, steamed beets and potatoes!
– chop and steam beets and potatoes in the same steamer you used for the spinach; you’ll know they’re done when soft enough to stick a fork through them
– season with salt, olive oil and/or Braggs liquid aminos

Voila! Enjoy 😉