A Flowering Moon

The force of natural beauty

I sat barefoot in a patch of grass, my neck broken up towards the sky, wishing on each emerging star for the clouds to draw their curtain and reveal the great beyond. I remained frozen, the way you would meeting a skittish cat, determined to woo the fluffy brume with my patience. Myself, and the world around me, waited. Then suddenly - the clouds parted. Indigo darkness swallowed the field I perched on and the rounded body of the moon lit up with sparkling, piercing wisps. Wet little globes streaked my cheeks. My chest echoed like a cave. I felt so, delightfully, small. After seeing the total eclipse, I will never look at the moon the same way again.

Northern Lights danced their way as far south as Alabama, a double brood of cicadas will leave us a crunchy carcass rug of billions, and (on a personal note) my first attempt at planting from seed has yielded tons of precious springy sprouts! In 2024, nature is demanding we pay attention. Thank God Mother Nature.

Sara Dosa’s award-winning film is almost entirely created by a lyrical quilt of 16mm archival footage, shot by a pair of passionate, intrepid volcanologists in love. The arresting footage was originally M.O.S. (without sound), demanding praise for the elegant sound design. This paired with intuitive editing and simple narration creates a documentary that reinvigorates the genre. I suspect Fire of Love will hold a different story at the center depending on the viewer. But whether you are more compelled by the love between two people, or by their love of the natural world, your heart will erupt.

Enchanting. Graceful. Vivid.

Born to the monotonous plains of Oklahoma, I never understood the appeal of a rendered landscape. Photographs, paintings, sculptures - none of them really resonated with me. And then I went to Iceland, traveling up the coast in a hatchback & a pop-up tent, and I finally “got it.” Shot on the deserted shores of Iceland, Neels Castillon’s music video for “F Major” by Hania Rani demonstrates the breadth of inspiration offered by nature: colors, textures, movement, melody - its plush, sharp, soft, quiet, radiant complexities are the original story.

Striking. Encompassing.

On March 20th, 2000, Kurt Johannessen asked 24 people from across the globe to call into the Bergen Art Museum and recount personal experiences with the moon. These statements were turned into an artfully packaged book + CD record of the happening. What resulted is a collection of stories in a myriad of languages that, on its surface, is only partially legible to any one person. But at its core, the collection is universal. A pervading wonderment, a boundless reverence, a primordial summoning.

Innovative. Communal. Reflective.

Tonight’s Flower Moon has inspired me to shine the moonlight on a cookbook in bloom.

I met Lee Kalpakis in passing at a street fair in Rosendale, and then again as a patron at a food pop-up in Woodstock. After these 2 brief encounters, I proceeded to tell my actual friend Sammy of Camp Kingston that he should “totally talk to my REALLY GOOD FRIEND LEE” (not true) for Camp’s culinary director because she “makes the BEST VEGGIE SANDWICH EVER MADE” (still true). Fast forward 2 months later when I walk into a recipe test, and Lee looks at me and exclaims, “Oh THAT Julie!” I immediately knew what happened: Sammy had mentioned her supposed REALLY GOOD FRIEND and she understandably had no idea who he was talking about. But in true Lee fashion, she made every effort to make me feel welcomed, warm, and held. After many Lee meals and substantive Lee hangs, I am delighted to be actual friends with Lee. And now she has an actual cookbook! I read this book cover-to-cover during 7 days of hiking in Maine, and it was the perfect companion to the deliciousness of an ocean + mountain + mossy sandwich.

Wholesome. Approachable. Heartening.

When you get your copy, look out for some of my favorites:

  • Wild Mushroom, Egg, & Cheese Sandwiches

    (Foraging for mushrooms last summer unearthed something spectacular in me)

  • Campfire Bucatini with Charred Tomato Sauce

    (Biting into a ripe tomato with grass between my toes can stop time)

  • Whole Stuffed Fish

    (My recco - eat with your hands)

“This life isn’t about perfection, and it’s rarely tidy. It’s about basking in beautiful imperfection, breathing in fresh air, and feeling the sun on your skin.” - Lee Kalpakis

To basking in it all - especially the Flower Moon,

<3 Julie

Join the conversation

or to participate.