There is something about cool weather in this mountainous, temperate rainforest region that just DOES it for me. The colour gradients that show themselves during our cooler months always appear impossibly beautiful and wise. Moody, dynamic, charcoal grey clouds break at dark green, stubborn, forested mountains; those mountains give way to ancient, mysterious waters and rugged, mossy rocks the colour of slate and life; and all these colourscapes fold together, in and out of each other, and I am a part of them. We are nature. It is us. There is in fact no place to draw the boundary that we imagine is there. This philosophy is applicable not just to our relationship to and participation in evolution; but also our relationship to one another and our participation in our societies. 

At this time - and arguably all times throughout recorded human history - there have been powerful, ruling minorities who have used scapegoating and fear-mongering tactics to misinform the public into believing that there are fundamental differences between us and Others. There is always something for the ruling, amoral elite to gain in this - land, money, power - and the result is so often a boundary being violently constructed with Us on one side and Them on the other. We are told that We are better: We know better, We deserve our humanity. While They are less than: They don't know what is good for Them, They need our help to become like Us, They are not really human.

Of course, these beliefs are lies that have been fabricated to further a small, powerful group's self-centred agenda. We are ALL human beings and we ALL deserve the freedom to live how we want. We all deserve to live WHERE we want. It doesn't matter what country you were born in, what language you speak, what your body looks like, what you do for fun (as long as it's consensual) or who you love: you are human and so am I. Your humanity should never be conditional. As far as rights are concerned: we are the same. And yet, one thing of many things to celebrate about us is that we are all so unique. Like the precious landscapes of the place I live (on unceded Coast Salish territories) a great, united picture is made up of individual stones, leaves, branches, waves and animals. They come together, each making a special contribution to form a solid, vital planet. We can come together in vital solidarity to build a future of justice that recognizes and respects humanity of ALL of us. I want to thank all the people who have already been doing that; in past, present and future generations. 

This recipe is delicious, rich, comforting during any season, and adapted from one in a gorgeous vegetarian (and very vegan-friendly), Ayurvedic cookbook called What To Eat For How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen by Divya Alter. Divya explains this recipe is ideal for enjoying in the evening before bedtime as it has a calming effect on the body. 

[ makes 3 servings; adapted from the recipe in What To Eat For How You Feel by Divya Alter ]

3 cups fresh almond milk
3 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods, cracked
3-4 pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Add the milk, cinnamon and cardamom to a pot. Bring to a gentle boil on medium heat then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and cardamom and let the milk cool slightly, then blend the warm milk with your dates and vanilla until smooth. Enjoy right away or keep in the fridge for the next few days! Delicious on its own, or added to tea and smoothies.