In my own backyard

backyard lily.jpg

Here in my own backyard, in the morning while it is still cool, I listen to your choir.  Their chirps and whistles ricochet from tree to tree.  And oh the trees, these mighty beings.  If I could trill like a bird, I might come close to praise for them. Massive and creaking, but still lifting their arms to feel the breeze fluttering their new leaves. There is only wonder this morning as that cool breeze raises goose bumps on my bare arms.  The sky is the palest blue with only a few fine thready clouds stretched taut til they vanish.  I hear a plane far away.  I love to travel but this morning everything I want or need is here.  The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.  This fullness, this presence is not set apart from me.  I am a part of it.  Beholding and beheld.  Oh be held by all this.  The honeysuckle that cascades over the fence, the rambling roses almost done now from blooming.  These are the flowers of my childhood.  A humid Indiana summer day; the fragrance of the honeysuckle is a time machine, and I am tempted to stay in that place but the little plum trees in my yard right now, heavy with fruit turning purple call me back.  Not ripe yet, not yet but soon, soon.  And the lily that once bloomed white in a pot on the altar at Easter, now in our weedy garden by the back porch has turned orange.  Why?  No one knows.  And my soul, whatever that is, has also turned from white and pure to brazen red.  This awe, this wonder, this praise fills me.  It is a little Pentecost come on me, a tongue of fire resting, the breath of God breathed into me again, and again.

Denise Bennett is an award winning storyteller, musician, and chaplain.  Her website is 

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