We were remote, in the mountains, paying homage to our adored Lebanese saint, Charbel. It was a haunting place, creaking with wind and chill and a kind of desolation. I prayed for all of us.

As I left, the branches of a tree waved and beckoned me over from across the courtyard. Are you my cedar tree, I asked, the one I’ve been looking for? The cedar was not silent. She answered me by stretching her arms even wider, teaching me the lesson I want to keep learning—making beauty of the harsh wind by standing strong, and lilting, gracefully.

See you back in the kitchen this week. I send you an embrace as wide as a cedar tree to say thank you for being with me with all of your comments, messages, and good wishes on my journey to Lebanon…that has meant the world to me. There are many more pictures, and much to say, which we’ll do over time. I’m so grateful to have you to share it all with.

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