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


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 🙂 ❤

9 thoughts on “childhood: when summers were magical for us

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave a sweet comment. I’m pleased you can relate to these thoughts. As a child of the 50s, I think we had a lot more freedom then to explore our neighbourhood and away from home. Nature never gets boring. There’s always something new to discover, isn’t there? Blessings on your week, my friend. 😊🌺

    • Indeed he or she does, Michael! It pays to listen to that inner invitation and see life anew through the eyes of a child. It’s a heartwarming exercise to awaken to wonder in the everyday. Bless you, dear friend! 😊❤️

  1. Oh, dear Joy, this “Sacred Noticing” is such a gift you freely share with us! Thank you for inviting us to pause and pay attention to God’s beautiful hidden places. In this chaotic world where we find ourselves, this kind of pausing feels more necessary every day! Blessings, love, and hugs to you across the pond!

    • Dear Bettie, I’m so thankful God opened my eyes to the beauty that exists right where I am situated. Nature is a calming, soothing balm for our souls and it has delighted me since childhood. It’s certainly worth pausing to pay attention to the vital life that surrounds us. And I think it becomes even more important when we’re mostly housebound by chronic illness and pain. Blessings, love and hugs to you, too, dear friend! xo 😊💟🪴

  2. “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.” I love the images of “flickering pinpricks of light” which is sometimes all we can see to point the way. Thanks for your words.

    • Yes, it is, Shirley. And sometimes those “flickering pinpricks” are all we need to reorient our souls back to the light again. Thank you for noticing those lines and enjoying the poem, my friend. You’ve made my day! Blessings. x 💜

  3. Pingback: heatwave: on being scorched and getting soaked | Poetry Joy

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