heatwave: on being scorched and getting soaked

An unprecedented heatwave (probably due to climate change and attributed to winds blowing hot air up from north Africa and the Sahara) has been making its scorching, record breaking 40+ degrees centigrade 🔥🥵 way across the UK.

It’s been hard without the benefit of air conditioning. The high temperatures have had devastating effects countrywide, exacerbated health problems, taken lives, and initiated fires on our tinder-dry, rain-deprived land and properties.

We’re so unused to temperatures like this, and ill prepared. So as I wilt and melt faster than an iced lollipop, while we sit closer to our two rather feeble fans, I remember another sultry summer and how it led to a spectacular thunderstorm.

It was just before I became badly afflicted by M.E and chronic illness, and when our boys were small and could amuse themselves for hours making sandcastles. I hope the poem below provides some light relief for you, too… ⛱🐚🩱🌊☀️

Exodus

Darkened clouds rolled in 
from the coast, hanging heavy 
as a canopy over the beach, 

encroaching on the sun's rays, 
obliterating heat.
Thick drops began to fall, 

as we scrambled to gather
our belongings, while people 
shrieked playfully,

and others emerged 
swiftly from the sea.

Towels became raincoats 
and hats. Exiting became
our best option, though 

we were way too far 
from the safe cocoon 
of our parked car.

Clutching children and buckets 
and spades and all,
the paraphernalia of a day 

at the beach, we giggled
and ran, like drowned rats,
drenched beyond belief.

Shivering and sheltering 
under trees, saturated
but strangely happy, 

we watched rainfall morph 
into a barrage of hail, 
while lightning prevailed.

We were struck. Not by 
lightning, thankfully, but
by the way forces of nature 

were pitted against
one another in a battle 
of the elements.

Sheets of rain cascaded, 
followed by sharp stones
of hail, while thunder raged 

and electrical forks
zig-zagged and streaked 
across it all.

The heat of the day 
dissipated under this 
onslaught. And then there was 

a lull. We ran for our car, 
like prisoners released on bail.
And as we sat inside, 

trying to get dry, we knew
we would never forget 
the spectacular sight

of a summer storm 
turning day to night.
© joylenton

This summer is proving to be far too hot for serious thought which is why I’m sharing these memoir style posts about my childhood or later on. Normal service will be resumed in due course! Meanwhile, do let me know if you are enjoying this kind of post. x 😎❤️

rising: learning how to exercise our faith wings

“True faith is not a leap into the dark; it’s a leap into the light.” — Eric Metaxas

Rising 

There’s a clapping flap 
of wings beating the air
in tune with the universe 

as crows become airborne
dark blots against azure blue,
crest the currents 

with ease and grace,
reveal their natural
ownership of this space.

Sky’s acreage invites us
to investigate, seek to soar 
above and beyond 

our human state,
renders us minuscule,
reduced to earthly dust,

earthbound creatures
trying to advance themselves 
to earth’s outer reaches. 

Perhaps we would find 
ourselves less distinct, 
sharing an affinity, interlinked 

with avian life, 
note how we are connected,
joined together 

with threads of soul flight
while rooted here below—
inhabitants of day and night.
© joylenton

“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” — Victor Hugo

childhood: when summers were magical for us

“Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.” — Henri Frederic Amiel

Noticing

Scrambling on my stone-scratched 
and soil-stained knees,
falling further beneath this canopy,
all feels covert, mysterious,
hidden, concealed

from indifferent adult eyes, 
which tend to skim and skirt
the surface of things
and miss the obvious,
because they fail to look
hard enough.

But now, as my breath breaks free
in tiny gasps, I notice
how the earthworm burrows,
where the snail trail slithers,

how the ants scurry fast,
bees warningly buzz
and soft butterflies flit around,
seeking a fresh place to land.
I note where sharp thorns sit
waiting to pierce us 
unawares, elicit shrieks,
for they know how vulnerable
human skin can be,

how easily a barrier 
can be broken,
and a raw wound gape 
and bleed, like slitting 
open an envelope sleeve.

And I'm learning how a girl like me 
can hide away, close to a veiled, 
unseeing parental gaze.

This bushy undergrowth is like 
a world within a world,
one I long to lose myself in, 
to press into darkness

while my heart seeks out the tiny, 
flickering pinpricks of light
found glittering in the gaps as stars,
gently pointing the way 
forward—like a litany of psalms.
© joylenton

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” — Graham Greene

The poem above has been extracted from my latest book ‘Sacred Noticing: Seasonal Glimpses of the Infinite’ which is available on Amazon. UK readers can access it by clicking on the link above and readers who live elsewhere can find the book by clicking on the image below. Xx 🙂 ❤