Friday, 28 May 2010
Oh world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long had I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart, --Lord I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me -- let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
~Edna St Vincent Millay
These words of Edna St Vincent Millay touched my heart yesterday as I read them. I know she is writing of the autumn, but I know exactly how she must have felt when she penned these words, because as I look around me . . . this day, and every day I feel much the same.
I am in wonder at all that surrounds me . . .the sights, the smells . . . the sounds . . . the tiny miracles that assault all my senses from one day to the next . . . it is all so very beautiful.
Each wondrous creation fitting beautifully into my heart and making it swell with thanks and gratitude . . . so much so that I almost can darest not take it all in . . .
A bird on the wing soars across a brilliant blue sky and my heart soars with it and revels in the magic of it all. I wish I could fly in the same way . . . but my feet stay tethered to the ground and I take the journey with it in my soul . . . and somehow it is enough . . .
The dew that falls on the flowers and grass in my garden each morning . . . painting the earth in droplets of crystal that hang and dance on every leaf and branch . . . an early morning soliloquy . . . a song just for me . . . oh, I know it is there for everyone to enjoy . . . but somehow as I look at it and brush my fingers against it's wet beauty, I feel as if it is just for me, and that is all that matters, for now . . .
The mother birds and their fledglings that now visit my garden. We sit and watch them while we are eating our tea and I wonder at the magic of it all . . . how do they know to do the things that they do. Instinct is a wondrous thing . . . it teaches and shows all that live what to do and how to do it . . . deep yearnings from the soul that inspire this balance of life . . . and of death. It does not happen by chance, but by some deeper, more magnificent plan. We must learn to live more by our own instincts I think and to listen . . . that still small voice of God . . .
A mother's love that comes so naturally and which overflows the heart . . . so much so that, even now when my young mothering days are long past, my heart tugs at the sight of a small newborn head . . . so tender and so sweet. I want to breathe it in and smell that smell, and to feel that warmth in my hands and in my arms . . . to gaze upon something so fresh from my Heavenly Father's arms and unspoilt yet by the world . . . a tiny miracle, amazing and true . . .
There is beauty and wonder that tugs at my heart strings no matter where I look . . . the whiskers on a kitten and it's natural curiosity play a dance upon my soul that nothing else can play. Again my heart swells at the wonder of it all and threatens to burst with the joy that that wonder brings . . .
The beauty that each season brings . . . not by accident but by some marvelous plan . . . each thing fitting together perfectly. The colours of new spring flowers . . . the browns of autumn's spent leaves . . . the dust of snow on a window sill . . . the cloudless blue expanse of sky on a hot summer's day and the hum of insects on the wires . . . peaceful green hills . . . the morning chorus of birds . . . their melody a wonderful cantata for my soul . . .
Each day brings something beautiful into our lives . . . all different and yet the same . . . all gifts from God, created by God for our pleasure and our use . . . we just have to open our eyes and our hearts and drink it all in. Simple pleasures, ours for the moment and for always . . . priceless and yet free of charge . . . Is it no wonder my heart sings out with the joy of it all?
The days have been a lot cooler these past few days . . . although thankfully there has been little rain to disrupt them. I found myself sitting on the sofa last night with a blanket, not wanting to turn the heat on this late in the spring . . . it will be summer soon. We feasted on spicy chicken fajitas for our tea, a tasty treat . . . quick and easy and eaten out of hand, although Todd still attempts to use a knife and a fork . . . me, I wrap them up and eat them with the juices running down my hands . . . messy I know, but that is all a part of the pleasure of eating a fajita I think . . . you cannot teach an old dog new tricks . . .
A bit messy to eat but so very delicious nobody minds! This recipe is very easily reduced to feed two if you wish instead of 4.
4 boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips thinly
6 TBS fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika/sweet pepper flakes mix
For the fajitas:
2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
oil for cooking
For the sauce:
2 TBS olive oil
4 TBS Worcestershire sauce
4 TBS dark brown sugar
1 TBS crushed garlic
the juice of 2 to 3 limes
Warmed flour tortillas
onion salad crispies (optional)
(These are just like the durkees fried onions)
Combine the chicken with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, garlic and the smoked paprika spice mix in a large bowl. Give it a good stir, then cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.
When you are ready to serve them, drain the chicken, discarding any marinade. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Add a tiny bit of oil and once it has heated, add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and cooked through. Scoop out to a bowl and keep warm. In the same pan, add a bit more oil and then toss in the vegetables. Cook and stir until they begin to colour nicely. Scoop out to the bowl with the chicken. Add the oil for the sauce to the pan. Stir in the garlic and cook for several minutes, then stir in the lime juice and brown sugar. Scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce. Get it bubbling up and then stir the chicken and vegetables back in and heat through, making sure eveything is coated well with the sauce. Heat yoru tortillas according to the package directions. Serve the chicken mixture on warm tortillas topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of the salad crispies if desired.
Devour with abandon.
If you are looking for a delicious cake to serve at the weekend, look no further. There's a delicious Lemon and Pistachio Cake being served up on The English Kitchen today!