Moving On — Again (+ Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies)

[Morning cup, Casablanca, Morocco, 2015.]

About two years ago around this time I was in the home stretch of writing my book and had a little tumbler in my belly reminding me of her presence with every turn and flick of her very tiny toes. We were moving to North Africa in a few short months and when I had time to think about it I was filled with a nervous mix of trepidation and excitement. Flash forward to today, when we woke up earlier than usual, dined on granola and yogurt and banana chunks, and went out to stroll the neighborhood, me with my much-needed coffee in hand. My little tumbler is now a sturdy walker who gets her hands dirty at every opportunity (much to the chagrin of the neighbors/maids/nannies but I’m not anti-grit by any means) and says a cheerful ‘hi’ to all who cross her path. Our time in North Africa is rapidly coming to a close, just in time for me to actually accept that woah, we’re living in Africa. I never would have anticipated that occurrence a decade ago.

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Making Good Use (+ A Beet Soup)

Making good use of beets by turning them into a velvety, dairy-free soup that’s spiked with lemon juice.

She totters around the downstairs of our rather enormous house and I let her, hanging back with my cup of coffee (if it’s morning) or tea (if it’s late afternoon) and granting her the illusion that she’s on her own to discover what there is to discover. My intrepid explorer; I hope one day soon her path is the granite of the Sierras rather than the cold, slick tiles of this house (though admittedly granite can be cold and slick too).

There’s a rather astonishing number and variety of birds in our neighborhood; often they fly in great flocks over the slightly pollution-stained houses and somewhat raggedy palm trees and alight on bougainvilla branches and garden walls. There’s one in particular that sounds like a blue jay and every time I hear it I think of being in the redwood forest, maybe Armstrong Woods in particular, the quiet hum of the trees and rushing water and hot summer pressing down all around me. Intellectually I know of course that there are no blue jays here – mourning doves, sea gulls, small white cranes, …. yes, but no jays or other birds similarly familiar to we North Americans – but if I take a moment to close my eyes I can almost believe I am in California of an August afternoon with nothing much to do other than listen to the leaves falling down to carpet the dry ground.

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