My Skylights – What Are Yours?

The Skylight

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

Gareth Higgins introduced me to 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.

My Skylights

Raspberries and chocolate. The sound of water dripping in a cave. Peanut M&M’s. Rollercoasters. Andrew Wyeth Paintings. Lavender. Alone on a fourteen thousand foot mountain peak summit. Painting with watercolors. Hiking. Crossing the finish line of a marathon. Running. Passionate love. Getting caught in the rain. Science Fiction. California Wine. Scary movies. Magic. Royal Tokaji. The feel and smell of soft leather. A massage. Long walks in the woods. The smell of a log cabin.  A very, very, long massage. The beauty of the female form. Old books. New books. Books on a Kindle. Any book. Especially when written by David McCullough, Ayn Rand, Ursula Le Guin, Madeline L’Engle, Fredrich Beuchner or Irving Stone. Montana. Alaska. Downtown Austin. Sitting on a porch during a thunderstorm. Winter snow. The real thing and the song by Audrey Assad. My iPhone. Back porches. Fireplaces. Spending time with my daughters. NFL Football DirecTV Ticket. The movie Pan’s Labyrinth. Did I say magic?

What are some of your Skylights?

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My Skylights – What Are Yours?

65 Responses

  1. Fireflies on a summer night. Lavender. Sunrise. Hummingbirds. Sleeping kitties. Hugs from a friend.

    Carol May 28, 2010 at 17:16 #
    • @Carol, I think I will make every reply another Skylight. Here goes..

      Alaska.

      Randy Elrod May 28, 2010 at 17:20 #
  2. The sound of crashing waves and the smell of salt in the air. Laughing on the phone with a far away friend. The smell of my babies fresh out of the tub. Walking On Water by Madeline L’Engle. Running. The hope of intimacy. St. Augustine’s writings. A good bottle of wine shared with a great friend. The smell of rain and hearing the chorus of frogs while sitting on my back porch. Giving in to my rebellious side every so often. A new pair of shoes. Filling up my Kindle.

    Abbye May 28, 2010 at 17:24 #
  3. my daughters laughing together, my husband’s eyes, (Burningtown, North Carolina), a quiet library, a tree covered drive through the country, roses and honeysuckle

    bluegoose May 28, 2010 at 17:27 #
  4. YIKES…how could I forget the wonderful smell of fresh paper and pencil and the inspiration to just be me!

    bluegoose May 28, 2010 at 17:29 #
  5. Whitefish, MT.
    Coffee
    Hugs
    Accoustic music
    The smell of grilling in the summer
    Tex-Mex
    My brother’s laugh

    Meredith May 28, 2010 at 18:09 #
  6. a painting or drawing done quickly where the colors are just like feelings; cold meltwater on hot feet after a hike at glacier national park, montana; spending time alone with my adult children; hearing said adult geek children argue about whether or not time travel is possible; rainbows on a black cloud; babies or small children laughing or singing; hearing people around me truly worship

    randy, i needed this…. time to make a list for myself…

    Lauree May 28, 2010 at 18:13 #
  7. A black raspberry snowcone, any Jane Austen novel, the smell of ripe tomatoes still on the vine in the heat of August, baking a barm brack (Irish raisin cake) for my dad, the cobblestone streets of Assisi, Italy – and the scar on my knee from taking a tumble on the cobblestone streets of Assisi, Italy.

    Judy May 28, 2010 at 18:27 #
  8. The last day of school, the first day of school, watching and listening to daughters talk and giggle while sitting together on the swings, my husband’s phone calls throughout the day, smell of air after heavy rain, Maryland crab cakes, my husband’s grilled filet mignon, champagne, naps on screened in porch, getting together with same group of girlfriends once a month with a no-holds-barred conversation, Phineas & Ferb, documentaries, crosswords, volunteer work, dvr, IPhone, and I’m sure I could think of more :)

    Carol Anne May 28, 2010 at 20:05 #
    • @Carol Anne, Yes! Phineas and Ferb, definitely!
      .-= Leo Gallant´s last blog ..Tomorrow! =-.

      Leo Gallant May 28, 2010 at 20:08 #
      • @Leo Gallant, What is Phineas & Ferb?

        Randy Elrod May 28, 2010 at 21:16 #
        • @Randy Elrod, it’s on the Disney Channel (we have young children) and it’s a really funny, intelligent cartoon. Makes childrens’ programming watchable! Check it out at 11:00 am EST today. The marathon is on Monday. You won’t be sorry. I’ve heard grown adults quote Doofenschmirtz. Piqued your interest?

          Carol Anne May 29, 2010 at 07:32 #
          • @Carol Anne, And these 2 little guys are extremely Creative!

            Leo Gallant May 29, 2010 at 07:41 #
          • @Carol Anne, Yes, you have. Is it anything like Wallace & Gromit?

            Randy Elrod May 29, 2010 at 08:27 #
            • @Randy Elrod, I am not totally familiar with Wallace & Gromit. I do remember hearing that the show was funny. So, perhaps.

              Carol Anne May 29, 2010 at 08:55 #
            • @Carol Anne, Wallace & Gromit is very dry English humor for kids-but really it’s for adults.

              Randy Elrod May 29, 2010 at 11:05 #
  9. Grinding and brewing DunkinDonuts coffee early morning, playing guitar/singing on the screen porch, walks on the SC beaches with Kim, my kids laughing, hunting trips to PA with friends…to name a few : )
    .-= Leo Gallant´s last blog ..Tomorrow! =-.

    Leo Gallant May 28, 2010 at 20:06 #
  10. The smell of a freshly opened bag of coffee beans.
    Spooning
    Sparkling white wine
    Lobster dripping with butter and garlic.
    Cuddles from my boys
    The smell and feel of baby hair
    The peachfuzz of a baby’s cheek
    drawing
    Reading
    My lovers smile
    A robust cabernet sauvingnon with a creamy blue cheese
    being alone when I need it
    the sound and smell of a crashing ocean on a stormy day
    playing my guitar
    runnning/hiking in a misty rainforest

    why is it that these things are optional extras when life gets busy?? If i managed to fit more of this stuff in, I’m sure life would be richer!

    Michelle George May 28, 2010 at 20:54 #
  11. PS .. this was a great warm up exercise…now i have to go and write an essay about contextual theology o.O
    .-= Michelle George´s last blog ..Bingo! Laziness and entitlement =-.

    Michelle George May 28, 2010 at 20:55 #
  12. Slow dancing.

    Randy Elrod May 28, 2010 at 21:16 #
  13. - feeling God’s presence – ocean sand under my feet – a fragrant candle – looking at my children – romance – an interesting and intense conversation – looking out a plane window – a good wine – favorite worship music – giving – standing at the rail of a sailing ship – feel of soft carpet under feet – a strong body – a kind face – a long kiss – feeling loved – a beautiful island – facials – driving – floating on a raft – coming home………

    Colleen Foshee May 28, 2010 at 21:29 #
  14. The sound of low tide on a beach lulling you to sleep at night.

    Alison D May 28, 2010 at 22:18 #
  15. summer fruits mixed with chopped serranos, tons of fresh lime juice, with a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt…books, photo journals, cookbooks…unique serving pieces, platters, cake pedestals, bowls…turquoise, avocado green, orange, amber, silver, purple, red…mission trips, teaching, preaching, walking, loving, hands & feet, africa, romania…ultra comfortable shoes, sandals, slippers, socks…hilarious moments, poignant moments, family, friends, feasting, celebrating, uniting, laughing, crying, hearts joined forever…european goose down comforter, 1000 count sheets, feather pillows, lavender-scented candles, baby-soft cotton nightshirt from anthropologie…dangly, unique, handmade earrings, lemon lip gloss, good hair day…murals, collages, altered everything, black and white portraits…winter at the beach, dark, cold, relentless tide, favorite hoodie, faded jeans, holding hands as you walk on the hard-packed sand, breathing in the wet, salty air, inky sky, billions of stars, midnight blue forever…transcendent worship moments, confession, communion, tears, freedom, cleansed, grateful…
    .-= marina´s last blog ..Summer Bible Reading Adventure =-.

    marina May 28, 2010 at 22:42 #
  16. I love skylights. :)
    Chocolate…Raspberries, chocolate covered raspberries. Sitting under a tin roof while it rains. Watching the lightening storm in the Colorado Skies. Laying out on my driveway with my kids in the dark night imagining all the stories behind the stars. Fresh whipped cream. Smell of coffee coming to my room from the “delay brew” setting. Hot rice with butter and salt. The lilac bush outside my living room window. The magic behind a genuine smile. Drummers. Children listening to stories told by the elderly. A cigar on a perfectly still summer night. The way Pike’s Peak looks new and different every day. Boys with clear, trustworthy eyes. My girl and My boy.

    Krissy May 28, 2010 at 23:17 #
    • @Krissy, Oooh, I forgot lilacs. I crave them every spring!

      Carol Anne May 29, 2010 at 07:37 #
    • @Krissy, Drummers? :)

      Randy Elrod May 29, 2010 at 08:18 #
  17. God making a scripture personal on my lanai in the morning. Taking the train south from the Mexican border. Waking up camped on a very remote beach somewhere in Central America. Sting, when we’re in the sixth row. The Wind River Range, WY. Sharing an amazing bottle of wine beneath a castle in Sintira, Portugal. Cashmire.

    Scott L May 29, 2010 at 08:21 #
  18. Carol Anne, Wallace & Gromit is very dry English humor for kids-but really it’s for adults.

    Randy Elrod May 29, 2010 at 11:04 #
  19. God’s absolute love
    .-= patriciazell´s last blog ..#43 THE RETURN OF CHRIST: THE CAST, PART ONE =-.

    patriciazell May 29, 2010 at 13:26 #
  20. Throwing boiling water in the air at -50 degrees. The aurora borealis in January. A soak in the hot springs.

    Joe Baumgarten May 29, 2010 at 14:01 #
  21. My Lord.
    Sunrises.
    The Love for My Family.
    Music.
    Laughter.
    My Husband.
    Good Coffee.
    Books.
    Mountains Outside My Windows.
    Birds Singing.
    Pine Tree Smells.
    Forgiveness.
    Fields of Alfalfa Blooming their Beautiful, if brief, Blooms.
    Open Roads to Travel in My Car, Singing At the Top of My Lungs.
    Working in my Rather Pathetic West-facing Flower Garden.
    Smell of Peonies (East side).
    Good Friends, Old and New.
    A Productive Day’s Work.
    Hugging Grandchildren.
    Uncountable Stars on a Clear Night.
    Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection.
    Springtime.
    Fireworks on the 4th of July.
    Reminiscing with My Mother.
    Praising My Lord.
    Riding Horses.
    Cloud-Shapes in the Montana Skies.
    Autumn.
    SPF 80 Sunblock.
    Sunsets.

    Amy May 29, 2010 at 14:02 #
  22. these are not in any specific order

    the sound of a wonderful acoustic guitar, the poetry of e.e. cummings, the music of Paul Hindemith, the paintings of Mark Rothko, the cinema of Quentin Tarantino, the company of my beautiful wife, the beauty of my children’s love, laughing and sharing life with great friends, microbrewed beer, walking around a city that i’ve never been to before, a West Texas sunset, SaltLick BarBQ, San Antonio, a powerful Drum Corps show, did i say beer?, leading worship, Big Bend National Park, Texas Tech Football, and my new skylight-European Futbol.

    Chuck Harris May 29, 2010 at 17:47 #
  23. i forgot
    READING it’s what opens my eyes to the heavens quite often.
    .-= Chuck Harris´s last blog ..America, i’m hungry… =-.

    Chuck Harris May 29, 2010 at 17:50 #
  24. Phineas and Ferb are basically you and John Voelz when you were kids. they create these wildly amazing summer activities that most of us can only imagine, but they actually do these things. and my favorite character is Baljeet their Indian friend.
    .-= Chuck Harris´s last blog ..America, i’m hungry… =-.

    Chuck Harris May 29, 2010 at 17:53 #
  25. Wow, everyone already mentioned beautiful stuff.
    For me:
    Hugs and kind words from family and friends, their love
    The colours in the sky when the sun is setting
    The sound of wind going through leaves of trees
    The sound of wind through reed along the water
    Waves crashing
    Silence
    When there is a thunderstorm and it’s dark, I leave the lights off and enjoy the scene in the sky
    The love and laughter of the children I receive after schooltime at church
    Indian food, Italian food actual any food will do except fastfood, smell of food
    Wine
    Brunches with my friends
    The kindness and help from my neighbours, the love and joy from their kids
    Bike Riding, especially in the Summer through the woods
    Running
    A walk at the beach
    Music, for now it’s the last album from David Crowder Band “Church Music”. I’m aware it’s not for everyone. Especially “God Almighty, non compares” rocks!
    Poetry
    Flowers
    Reading

    Can I say it’s actually life in itself? I just love life. It’s hard but in between the meanness (does that word excist?) and injustice there is so much love, kindness, joy, laughter and that makes it SO sweet. I can mention EVERYTHING. The sweet talk with my aunt on the phone who lives abroad who cares about me like a mother, the kind words of my uncle through the phone who lives in yet another country who cares about me like a father, the crazyness of my 90-year old grandmother who also lives somewhere else (yes, I have family everywhere). My grandma beats it all really.

    Ani May 31, 2010 at 14:52 #
  26. the small of her back.

    PER June 8, 2010 at 14:07 #
  27. honeysuckle, lily of the valley, the sound of my daughter laughing, laying on the deck of a boat watching fireworks explode overhead, the first cup of coffee in the morning, the sounds of spring – frogs, birds, the gentle rain, the hoot of an owl, conversations with dear friends, giving a massage to someone who really appreciates the holistic and healing experience that it can be

    Michelle March 1, 2013 at 20:47 #
  28. My family. My children, my husband, my Mom and Dad. My grandchildren. Books. The beach. Camping and walking in the mountains by a creek. A warm, soft, bed. Birds singing.A smile and a hug from my family. Mountains. Snow.

    Sis March 2, 2013 at 07:29 #
  29. A turn of your list…
    Raspberries and chocolate. Time with people I love. Music. Coffee. Laughter. Wyeth Paintings. Balsamic vinegar. Guinness. Words, powerful words. But only words backed up with action. Hiking. Mountaintops. Swimming. Anything done passionately, loving especially. Getting caught in the rain. Science Fiction. Wine. Music. Bing Crosby movies. Rollercoasters. Blackberry wine. The feel and smell of soft leather. A massage. Long walks in the woods. The smell of a log cabin. A very, very long massage. The most subtle details in creation. Old books. New books. Any books. Particularly when written by Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, or James Fenimore Cooper. Maine. Sitting on a porch during a thunderstorm. Sound of rain on a tin roof. Winter snow. The real thing. My iPhone. Back porches. Fireplaces. Silent reflection. Anything Celtic. The movie Holiday Inn. Did I say music?

    Heather Armstrong March 4, 2013 at 23:55 #