You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.
by Seamus Heaney
At our recent Kalein@Round Cove Contemplative Retreat, Gareth Higgins read this extraordinary poem by his fellow Irishman Seamus Heaney. He then read a list of some of his skylights. It inspired me to do the same.
Raspberries and chocolate. The sound of water dripping in a cave. Peanut M&M's. Rollercoasters. Andrew Wyeth Paintings. Lavender. Out of breath solo on any summit of a fourteen thousand foot mountain peak. Painting with watercolors. Hiking. Crossing the finish line of a marathon. Running. Passionate love. Getting caught in the rain. Science Fiction. California Wine & Cuban Cigars. Scary but not gory horror movies. Magic. Royal Tokaji. The feel of soft leather. A massage. Long walks in the woods. The smell of a log cabin. The sound of my wife's uninhibited laughter. A very, very, long massage. The beauty of the female form. Old books. New books. Books on a Kindle. Any book. Almost. Especially when written by David McCullough, Ayn Rand, Ursula Le Guin, Madeline L'Engle, Fredrich Beuchner and Ian Morgan Cron. Montana. Sitting on a screened-in porch during a thunderstorm. Winter snow. The real thing and the song by Audrey Assad. My iPhone. Spending time with my daughters. NFL Football DirecTV Ticket. Pan's Labyrinth. Did I say magic?