Sunlight Powers My Home & Bakes My Bread
“Wine is sunlight held together by water.” This beautiful quote by Galileo evokes such vivid imagery for me. I really enjoyed reading “Galileo’s Daughter” by Dava Sobel. The scholarly book gave me a much deeper appreciation for Galileo’s genius, his deep faith, and the cruelly challenging times in which he lived. Not only did he spend time gazing at the heavens and discovering the wonder and order of our universe; Galileo studied the seas and the earth, and he took great pleasure in gardening and making wine.
Living in the Land of Enchantment, I love the sun. There truly is something bewitchingly delightful about the light in New Mexico. Many great artists and writers have paid fitting tribute to its unique quality in this land. Added to this, living off the grid gives me a profound appreciation of the sun and its power.
Recently I quipped to a friend that I get my electricity from the sun and my small kitchen appliances from the Internet. This past week I ordered a new bread machine and a yogurt maker. So quite literally, sunlight bakes my bread, makes my yogurt and blends my vanilla pea protein shakes. I relish the smell of freshly baking bread as it fills the house with its distinctive, yeasty aroma. And I really appreciate being able to add whatever I like to the dough; especially different cheeses and spices. Homemade yogurt is another favorite, and both are so very easy to make in these machines. Since I am not much of a cook, I love that these small appliances, along with my rice cooker, take all the guess work out of the process. I follow the easy instructions, measure properly, and viola! While in India I fell in love with Basmati rice, and during my stay in Kashmir I marveled at the seemingly endless and truly beautiful rice fields. With my rice cooker I get perfect rice every time I make it.
Each morning I am in awe as the sun begins to rise and sparkling light emerges in the East, rising up from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background and the Cerrillos Hills in the foreground; sometimes blinding in its brilliance, and occasionally mingling with various cloud formations to paint the sky with breathtaking colors. Each late afternoon I begin to watch the skies in the West and wonder what the sunset will be like. Whether the sun’s sinking out of sight will be subtle or spectacular, somewhat subdued in a cloudless expanse, or bursting with colors amid some Cumulus, Cirrus or Lenticular clouds.
The seasons invite, and at times command, much more attention and appreciation here on the top of our Mesa. Weather systems are visible in their far off approach, visitation and passing, given our stunning 360 degree views. Sunny days are the year-round norm in the Southwest, and afford me the opportunity to do laundry, make a protein shake and toast for breakfast, and bake bread in the bread machine for dinner. I love living on acres and acres of undeveloped and previously uninhabited earth, even though there are a lot fewer conveniences and many more challenges. Treasuring the sunlight not only for its beauty and warmth, but capturing it in order to power my home is an added wonder.
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