Natural Beauty

Building momentum on the bike down the slope, we caught up with the gentle breeze. From the gathering where my daughter loves to sing down to her grandmother’s home where she loves to play.

Enchanted by the simplicity of rolling, we find a familiar lush lawn and drop our bikes, slipping off sandals to allow bare-skinned feet to meet soft rain sprinkled grass.

It’s prickly with an occasional stick, maybe memories of words that hurt, as we walk beneath a beryl foliage of light. We worship, we sing, we laugh, we talk, we find a well of wilderness, of beauty, like a waterfall, sunshine pouring through the leaves, mixing with the breeze. I slow down, linger in that spot where the light seems to dance. We think of You.

This place reminds my soul to catch the Wind, to absorb the Light, to let my heart burn bright. We walk, feet to grass, we sense your beauty tickling our souls.
There is richness of life in this day, not measured in the accumulation of anything, weighed rather by the quality of every breath, the beauty of moments, together, in what we may mistake for boring or waiting or walking. We see the breeze sway the tall grass, leaves flicker with green luminescent light, we turn to sniff the flowery sweet scent, we glance at the flickering leafy light.

Then off home, a warm bath, a simple meal with loved ones bumping elbows, bread broken and wine sipped. Outside the light dims and the delight and surprise sparkle in childlike eyes, lightning spluttering from a short lived insect.

Briefly here and glowing silently then gone.

Words & Photos by Jonathan McCallum

soul chateau

Along a windswept grassy hill you may find my soul chateau.
Warm days–windows welcoming sunlit air.
Winter grey–a fire crackling.

This haven is under construction:
The interior being refreshed,
But the outside less touched up.

If you stay lawnside, evaluating, you will see many broken things:
Rusty hinges, junk parts tossed aside, weeds growing here and there,
The sign neatly printed “religious man” sun-faded and askew.
Now one Name rests over eves and entrance.

“Joshua’s carpentry, chateau renewal.”
Some very regulated folk suggest changing companies,
Concerned about that radical, un-religious, palestinian jew.
A more established builder, you suggest? More neatly dressed?

I reply that I trust him, his work.
I’ve been impressed.
Come inside and see the arches of forgiveness,
That stairwell of joy,
An unmoving foundation of hope.
Yet what I love most is the woodworking of grace.

The unseen cost is the hours he hurt me
By chipping away at that old sandstone
And all the hard oak heart logs throughout the house.

The other day the inspection crew showed up again,
Quoting rigid rules, building requirements, regulations.
They halted as he simply said,
“The foundation and building are my own.
You missed that by reading rule after rule.”

I’m tired of painting outside walls.
I’m spending more time on the inside,
Making it a place of joy,
For family, new friends, a place to welcome
Creaky kitchen doors, sandstone dust,
Oak chips flying now and then

I long for the fire to roar in this chateau,
Inside beautiful, fresh, new.
Outer garden wall, rose-covered and welcoming the wild.
My life remodeled, refurbished with a new love,
A rusty, creaky windswept love.

trusting, trusted eyes

When the foggy grey days arrive,
I’ll glimpse again her trusting, trusted eyes,
My partner-friend.
Through life’s dry valleys,
Up laughter drenched hills,
Finding intimacy in mundane plains.
With whom else would I rather walk?

cherry-emerald the pinetree glows

cherry-emerald the pinetree glows,

flickers and beams

from home to street.

petite peppermint mouths

burst indoors with snowy boots,

shedding frosty flakes with giggles.

from white bright woods to cosy fireplace.

the candlelit feast invites,

echoing hope from an infant’s cry deep in time.

gather families!

come friends!

together rejoice,

glow, flicker, beam.


flames of kindness

hard rain, restless stormy gusts, cold words, hurting people, soul windows splashed, warmth drained by dashing hailstone syllables.  to guard the heart i turn towards furnace bright.  others are drawn, poems read, wine savoured, bread broken, your presence absorbed, your flames of kindness.