Monday, November 15, 2010

Poems. Prayers. Promises.

As a young boy, the poems held the future as a rose. But what do young boys know of roses? He knows only of those poems that he is read, and to what child does a parent read a rhyme of anything other than sunshine and rainbows and truth? So, he believes in the reality of the fantasy.

But the fantasy is tarnished. The poems echo, hollow in his heart. Prayers are cried in haste, trying to recall the fantasy. Because promises lay in waste at his feet as he stands, waiting, at the screen door, praying the promises he’s been given will come true. That he will be met, at the door. Pleading for something he doesn’t even quite understand but knows he wants, he needs. The evening rings empty as another promise lies broken at his feet. Another prayer is unanswered. Another poem is a lie.

Careful to avoid being hurt by the broken pieces, he steps around them, thinking he is not touched by the jagged shards, but they embed in his shoes. Following him, wherever he steps, though time.

The little boy, now a man, stands at the screen door. Remembering the lie of the poems of the past. Now is the time to write his own poem. A poem that paints the future as a rose. What does a man know of roses? He knows of the thorns, but the thorns have taught him how to handle a rose. He thinks he knows. But as he writes, his hands are pricked and he bleeds, staining his own poem of the future. And the jagged shards of promises past, make scars on the path he treads.

The little boy, now a man, doesn’t understand prayers for they have left him untouched with their non-existent answers. He feels the pain, the bitterness and the wanting. For what he is not sure. But he knows he wants. The pieces that go missing leave him searching. Yet he searches in vain. Afraid to pray, unwilling to pray, he searches . . . in vain.

The little boy, inside of the man, tries to write the poem. But without the prayers, the promises he makes fall in pieces around his feet as he stands at the screen door. His promises are carried away like chaff on the threshing floor in the presence of the wind. He tries to be different, oh how he tries. But until the little boy inside of the man, is let go to heal, and grow, there will be no change. He has kept it all these years. He has kept his pain, as fresh after all this time as a new fallen snow.

The acceptance of the imperfections of the old poems, of the answers to prayers not seen but indeed present, of the promises broken not in malice but in self-absorption, will lead to the little boy inside becoming a man of his own promises. Forgiveness is not condoning the wrong, or righting the past. Forgiveness is robbing the wrong of the ability to hurt life, to mar the future, cleansing the poison that eats away at who we are. It is the healing of the wound from the inside to the outside. Forgiveness presents the gift of clarity, of sight. Forgiveness of the past is the key to the future as a rose.

The man, stands at the screen door. The key cradled in his hand. Poems in his heart. Promises on his lips. Emptiness at his feet. And the future before him, as a rose.

Friday, November 12, 2010

If You Can't Smell Autumn In The Air Yet, Bake These

I love the pumpkin scones I get at Starbucks to go with my tall Earl Grey tea with plenty of cream. Yum! But I cannot always afford to feed that habit. Well, I found a pretty good recipe that comes very close to what I can get at the store with the green sign. Try them, you'll love them! I've included a photo of how mine turned out.


2 cups flour
7 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ginger
6 T. cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 T. half and half
1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1T. powdered sugar
2 T. whole milk

Spiced Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
3 T. powdered sugar
2 T. whole milk
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.