Thursday, November 3, 2022

For the Beauty of the Earth — And Its Beautiful People

We have friends from New Orleans visiting us now, Filipino friends whom we've known for forty years at least. They're here so that we can drive with them to northwest Arkansas, where the partner of their older son has a fellowship at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville. Andy teaches art at a university in Los Angeles, and Jay has flown out from Los Angeles to rendezous with his parents, us, and Andy for several days.

Our friends Al and Nenita never arrive without bringing in hampers and boxes groaning with gifts. The bananas and papayas above are from their amazing, beautiful little garden behind their house. Below are branches of bay leaves from a bay laurel tree in the same garden. 

For some years, we've been using bay leaves they gave us on a visit we made to them a number of years back. Were down to the last three leaves from that big supply, and now will have bay leaves for quite some time. We treasure these, since they're real bay, Laurus nobilis, the bay tree native to the Mediterranean. What many stores sell you as bay leaf is California bay, a different creature with a different flavor.

Nenita's family in the Philippines have a multi-generational woodcarving and furniture-making business. Every member of her family seems to brim with artistic talent, including Nenita, who is forever crafting, designing, painting something new. Below are two of six limbs of wood that Nenita painted and brought for us to put into our garden or somewhere in the house. 

I think these are too beautiful to put outside. And I wonder how it has happened that we have such amazing, sweet, generous friends, who make our world so much brighter and more beautiful.

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