A field of yellow wildflowers under a grey sky. Earl Gray tea brewing in a hand-made pottery teapot, to be presently poured into a little handle-less Japanese teacup. A cow drinking from a still pond. Overblown red roses on the big bush in the back, and tiny pink buds just opening on the small bush in the front. Conversation with a dear friend. New oak leaves lying on the new-mown lawn. A black cat who is not sure she wishes to be out, but will not come in. A block of striped “Shires of England” cheese from the Wensleydale creamery. Fragrant purple blooms high in our twisted Chinaberry tree. The quiet of ticking clocks and birdsong.
In my book of One-Thousand Beautiful Things, I found the following little poem, which spoke, somehow, to where I am right now. I’ve been intending to write something here for a week, waiting for words of appropriate depth and profundity, that I might dazzle my readers. But it is better, after all, to simply be still, without laborious profundity, though it is not, I think, what many of us expect.
Strange to grow up and not be different,
Not beautiful or even very wise …
No winging out the way of butterflies,
No sudden blindfold lifting from the eyes.
Strange — to grow up and still be wondering,
Reverent at petals and snow,
Still holding breath,
Still often tiptoe,
Questioning dew and stars,
Wanting to know!
–Mildred Bowers Armstrong