Having been living in Korea and traipsing to, from, and around East Asia for nearly the past three years, it feels really good to be at rest in Santa Barbara among family for Holy Week this year. It's the kind of restful feeling where your heart squeezes with gladness and then peace unfurls down to your fingertips and toes.
During this time, I've enjoyed some glorious music, from performances by the London Symphony Orchestra and Gil Shaham in Santa Barbara's own Granada Theater, to my mother simply practicing on her violin at home. I've also been indulging in homey little tasks like pulling weeds and trimming our lavender shrubs, tidying the linen drawer, moving a pile of rocks for the garden wall my father is building, cleaning the coffee maker, and finally working up the resolve to toss notebooks and course readers stashed away since my undergrad years. Now and then, I step outside, barefoot, to pick kumquats from the back patio for a quick snack. Or I head out front to check on the progress our roses are making. Or I head out for a walk in the foothills, with all of Santa Barbara spread out below me, the waters of the Channel glittering and sparkling in the distance, islands on the horizon, fresh air filling my lungs, and the fragrance of the chaparral reminding me how good it is to be alive.
Fresh herbs and salad greens in abundance and variety is something I'd taken for granted growing up in California. And as much as I was fascinated by the greens and mountain vegetables of Korea, I sure have been missing the flavors and textures of home. So this salad is all that I could possibly want this Spring: crisp, flavorful lettuces and fresh garden herbs, topped with juicy chunks of rosemary-roasted salmon and sprouted lentils and peas.
Rediscovering and experiencing once again the many joys of life that I'd left behind me in California has been a precious gift. And yet this pales in comparison with the even greater gift we get to celebrate this Easter season. Happy Easter, dear readers!