You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

Tonight, dinner at Sadie’s request: potato leek soup with snipped chives from the garden, sauteed mushrooms in butter, roasted asparagus with garlic aioli, bread, and a very tall chocolate meringue pie.

Happy birthday to my sweet one. xo



  1. sherri says

    I just found your blog after reading your essay in my Martha Stewart living magazine today. I love it and will be checking in often. Can’t wait to get your book.

  2. Miki says

    Oh …. Indeed.

    Happy Birthday, Sadie. I was like you – I didn’t want cake. (Lemon Meringue Pie, please.)

    ps. You’re really lucky to have your mom as Your Mom.

  3. says

    I just found your blog via Food in Jars! I can’t wait to check out your book and make those exquisite granola bars. I also wanted to say how deeply I can relate to little girls growing up. My older daughter turned nine last week. The emotion and nostalgia this brought on caught me off guard.

  4. says

    I also found you through Food in Jars. Quite a beautiful (and subversive!) poem. I loved having little kids and making birthday cakes–I’m glad you had a special day with your girl. Homemade Pantry looks like just the kind of cookbook I could use, and by the looks of your recipe index I’m sure it’s filled with lots of great stuff.

  5. Sarah` says

    Hello, I just found your blog after reading one of your posts in Gilttaste. OMG, I soooo want your book! I am not in America though…I tried to order the ebook, but it didn’t work since I don’t have a US zip code. Any ideas? Can you please help me out? Love your blog, can’t wait to read more!

  6. Jennifer Hayslett says

    I just started exploring the Blog World today. Yours is my 3rd or 4th one to read – EVER! And I am moved by your writing on a number of levels. I wonder if the blog has a way to have an email sent to my inbox when you make a post?

    I tried to “subscribe” but I got an error message.

    Thank you, Jenn

    • alana says

      Thank you, Jenn! I think the subscriber link is working- I just did a test. Just enter your email in the box, and hopefully we’re all set! If if still doesn’t work, if you would be so kind as to let me know, that would be great.

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