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 🙂 ❤

ordinary: the gift of the sacred ordinary

“The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family.” — Abraham Maslow

Poetry is the latch

stretch out open palms
feel for things beyond your ken
that lie close at hand

search for hidden key
poetry becomes the latch
we're invited in

it's an open door
it's a large, hallowed hallway
we find ourselves here

we're always welcome
removing secular shoes
helps us to listen

wait for mystery
to reveal its heart within
rhythm, metre, words

while our souls expand
to take in the universe
and savour beauty

as we exhale dust
and leave our worries behind
now, on the doorstep

we breathe in soul peace
mixed with mercy, love and grace
the air of this place

knowing we can stay
as night segues into daylight
cares are cast away

and we are laid bare
readied to receive again
drops of holy rain
© joylenton

“Yet mostly we remain unconscious of the fact that even in this simplest fulfilling of our daily needs we are partaking of the holiest mysteries of the sacred within the commonplace of our own kitchen. Great is to be found in little.” — Alice O. Howell, The Dove in the Stone

Gracious Father,

Thank you for the glory that surrounds us, revealed here and there in the smallest of moments, the tiniest glimpses and awe-struck seconds when we pause to notice it.

You inhabit the everyday with your extraordinary power and grace. It is saturated with your joy, exuberance, and peace. Open our eyes to see the humdrum, the ordinary, the mundane as nothing less than sacred ground.

The whole earth has been fertilised with the seeds of your sacred Presence, your divine favour, mercy, generosity, abundance, and love. But we so often overlook it because we’re too focused on below life rather than above.

Help us to sense you in the daily and pay attention to what you are saying through creation’s beauty, in our activities and tasks, and our attempts at seeing and listening hard.
Amen