Amma is Coming!

Amma will be starting her 2017 Summer Tour in the Seattle area on Saturday, May 27. She will be holding programs at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue.

Amma is known as a humanitarian and a spiritual leader, teaching and modeling a message of love and service to the poor. She offers a motherly hug to those who come to meet her.

May 27, All Day Program:11 am
May 28 Morning: 10:00am Evening: 7:30pm,
May 29, Morning: 10:00am, Evening 7:00pm (Includes a ceremony for world peace)

(Lines for tokens for Amma’s embrace will start forming 90 minutes before each program. The number of tokens may be limited due to time constraints so it is best to come early if you want a hug.)

All programs are free. For more detailed information about each event click here.

After Amma leaves the Seattle area she will go to San Ramon, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, Boston, Washington DC and Toronto. To watch a movie about Amma’s darshan (hugs) and her innumerable humanitarian and charitable activities go to:


Red Clover

I planted red clover as a cover crop in my garden last October. I’ve done that before and just turned the plants over in the spring. This year, a friend told me she always lets it grow because she loves the red flowers it produces. I decided to find out what those flowers were like. I was not disappointed.

The bumble bees love it and I’ve seen one honey bee gathering nectar there as well. I look forward to examining one of the flowers under the microscope next week. What a fun way to provide nutrients to my garden soil.

A Welcome Sight

On Monday evening, one of my teeth broke off at the gum level. The tooth was one that had a root canal, so I thankfully experienced no pain. One of my least favorite things to do, though, is to go to the dentist. I like my dentist, but that is beside the point. I don’t like to get dental work.

As I walked towards his office on Wednesday, feeling my normal dread, this rhododendron bush caught my eye. It is amazing how seeing beauty can shift my mood from dread to awe in an instant.


No Forest Restoration vs Forest Restoration

These timelines profoundly affected me when I saw them at the Green Seattle Partnership Forest Steward training that Ananya and I attended last March.


I choose to do whatever I can do to make the second timeline the reality.

Greenbelt Restoration Work Party: May 13

Twenty of the 23 participants in last Saturday’s work party were students from a University of Washington Environmental Studies class. I loved the opportunity to share this project with young people and appreciated what enthusiastic workers they were.

I set up five different work stations, and assigned four students to each of them. One group finished their work early so they joined another group for the remainder of the time.

Most of the work party was spent cutting down blackberry and ivy vines, and digging out blackberry root balls. Once the root balls were removed, we cover the cleared land with burlap bags to reduce weed growth. Then dried blackberry canes and other debris were placed on top of the burlap. In time, the bags and debris will turn into mulch which will hold in moisture and enrich the soil.

Since we use the blackberry canes to cover the burlap bags, it can be difficult for photographs to show how much work has been done. As you look at the before and after photos below, keep in mind that so many blackberry root balls are now above ground, stacked on racks made from tree branches where they will dry out.

Before and after photos for each of the five stations:






The amount of trash that we collected during the last two work parties shocks me. I wonder it will ever come to an end.


As always, I was amazed and delighted by how much we were able to accomplish during a three hour work party.

The Resilience of Nature

The lots in the part of the Greenbelt our GreenFriends group is restoring were covered by blackberry vines for 30-50 years, depending on the lot. One of the first things we noticed after the blackberry canes were cut down was that there were remnants of ferns in the debris. We began to free them from the rubble and then flagged them with yellow and black tape, hoping to prevent workers from stepping on them. We started calling that area of the property the “Fern Field.”

I started watching one particular fern, and at times took photos of it daily.

April 14


April 16


April 17


April 19


April 21


April 22


May 3
May 14

Yes, Nature is resilient, if we give her a chance to be.

Song Lyric Sunday: Ode to Women

Helen’s directions for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is to  post a song with a flower in the title and/or lyrics. I had already decided to share a new music video from Empty Hands Music. When I watched the video again in preparation for writing this post, I was delighted to see that it opens with the view of many women walking down a pathway of flower petals! So, it relates to Helen’s theme in a very loose way.

Ode to Women was written ten years ago by three South Asian Hip Hop artists- Nimo, Swap and KB. They recently reunited, along with filmmaker Ellie Walton, for the purpose of producing this video for Mother’s Day. Nimo wrote that it is meant to be “… a celebration of women from the male perspective and a chance for us to express gratitude for all that they mean to us.” The artists dedicated their work to all mothers and women across the world.

There is no reasonable way for me to capture and print all of the song’s lyrics, but many of them are shown as subtitles. I hope listening to and watching the music video brings tears to your eyes, like it did to mine. Enjoy.