If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and the weeds.
— Mary Oliver, "What Is There Beyond Knowing," from New Poems (2004-2005)

September is coming to a close. It hasn’t rained in what feels like weeks…it has, just not so measurable to be memorable. We have been busy. September is a month for decision-making, setting down plans on paper and…action.

Twenty-five years ago Michael sold his first painting and began exhibiting professionally. And so, we have embarked on a huge project: inventorying twenty-five years of paintings, drawings, etchings, sketches, studies, etc. Cataloging every piece by title, year, medium, etc. Sold and unsold, near and far. Each piece has been accounted for and many (older works) will need to be photographed.

Outside, skippers and hairstreaks, fritillaries and whites, transform our asters into an animated picture. Its soundtrack, provided by a variety of bees, their audible din electrifying the dense, humid, haze of autumn. Today marks it, the first day of Autumn.

Ten years ago this month, I began chemotherapy. And now, ten years later I am cancer-free. For four months - every two weeks on a Tuesday - I was injected with an infusion of cytotoxins. One…derived from the Pacific Yew and another…from soil bacteria.

Since then…I have been drifting.

I crave space. And light. And fresh air.

To hear crickets and katydids,

and birdsong without,


A place to think. And dream. And listen.

To grow old (or, young again).

One day, I do pray…I find my temple. ♥

Jessica Allen explores the fields and forests of Pennsylvania with her artist-husband, Michael Allen, and their son, Benjamin. She shares her observations through words and pictures of everyday magic and beauty she sees in her world.