Friday 28 May 2010

God's World

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 . . .

*Chicken Fajitas*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

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

To serve:
Warmed flour tortillas
sour cream
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!


  1. Gorgeous photo's, I always wonder where you find them or if you take all of them yourself.

    The fajitas look amazing, I love mexican food!!

  2. Marie once again some timely recipes for me. We have pistachios that need to be used and anything texmex that can eaten with the hands goes down a treat with the younger one.

    Oh to smell the delicious smell of one so new and pure is heavenly delight and I look forward to it every chance I can.

    Today was a mixed up day here. Dad was having a "good" day and Pip fell at school and split her lip so I declared an autumn picnic was going to happen. The sky was blue but by the time we arrived at the bay it was bucketing down. We were blessed with the most beautiful rainbow and shared our shelter shed with some disabled young men, work men and then later 4 classes from the local primary school. I felt sorry for the children as only three had a jacket and it was cold and breezy. You are right there are touches of specialness in the most mundane things.

    Enjoy your day.

  3. You're right - it's all there for us. We just have to open our eyes.

    Jury's still out on fajitas! They sound delish but....well, I'm with Todd on this one, that cutlery would be needed in our house.

    love, xxxxxxxx

  4. Hi, dear Marie! So happy to be back here for a dose of beauty and widsom with you. Just catching up on a few of your posts--much to read and see! We’re actually just arrived home yesterday from our 2-week trip. I hope to post soon. Right now just getting over very tired...and settling in home again with Charlie. :o ) Happy Weekend to you both, my friend. Talk to you more soon! LOVE YOU LOTS! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Nature is so beautiful and there is just nothing quite as good as being outdoors this time of year. I'm finally at my camper and loving it. I hope your Friday is a great one!

  6. I have a new journal Marie that is called "Blessings." It has a Bible verse with a few comments, then a page for you to write your own thoughts. It's really helping me to focus on the blessings God gives us that we rarely think about or thank Him for! blessings, marlene

  7. Hi, Marie,

    This post made me feel so happy. I, like you, feel great joy and rejoicing in the beauty of God's creations. I was just out in our vegetable garden, enjoying the cool breeze and bird songs, despite the dirty work.

    I love the photos and thank you for the from scratch recipe for fajitas.

    What time of day do you have tea? After that, do you have supper? How does that work? I think that I would like to do that.

    What do Mormons do about the "tea" part of tea? Herbal teas? That's what I drink here in Utah.

    How is the church perceived where you live?

    Are you near London or out in the country? Do you love history?

    Well, have a wonderful, blessed day!Elizabeth

  8. Why does he use a knife and fork to eat a fajita?

  9. Nice post Marie, and georgeous pics! Mydear today I go with Eséranza to the doctor (heart doctor) I hope all is OK I will tell you tomorrow. Thanks by your prayer and please continue praying by her, huggs and have a lovely weekend with Todd, Love ya Thanks, xx

  10. I am sitting here totally enjoying reading this post and yesterdays while you dream away cozy in your bed. I have never heard of your "broken to be beautiful" story before. Thank you for sharing. I agree with you that it is a great motto to remember for life.
    I also have enjoyed this lovely post with all your beautiful pictures. God surely has made us a beautiful world. I am glad that you have the eyes and heart to see the beauty around you. Thanks again for sharing. I too love and appreciate this beautiful world we live in.
    Have a great weekend dear. Hugs, Lura

  11. p.s. we love fajitas.... will make yours soon..... hugs again, Lura

  12. An eye that enjoys beauty is a gift for it will always seek it and and be happy!

    Hugs, B

  13. The photos are so beautiful! God really can make all those wondrous things!
    dining room tables

  14. Just beautiful and so poetic...You have a way with words Marie...It really was lovely.... Sounds like ya enjoyed those fajitas...I would have made a mess too!! Hugs and Happy they celebrate Memorial Day there??? Mica

  15. Marie:


    I am comforted at heart when I read your words. Even in times of trial and hardships, your words give me strength. I will always be thankful for you.

    Gerushia's New World

  16. All the picture on your blog looks awesome. Thanks so much for posting these incredible delights of nature.


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