She Walks In Beauty


She walks in beauty like the light
Of cloudless chimes and starry skies
And all that's dark and bright
Meet in the aspect of her eyes
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies
One shade the more, one ray the less
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Lord Byron

On Becoming Imogen Crest


Seeking balance from the busy corporate world, Monika Roleff became Imogen Crest, the Hermit, under the influence of Heather Blakey, Enchanteur extraordinaire and webmistress of Soul Food Cafe. Soul Food Cafe is a global online writing and art group that practices art/writing on a daily basis. Monika Roleff is a qualified writer, advanced practitioner in vibrational healing, consultant, and nature photographer, interested in writing, nature, healing, wholeness, sustainability and personal development.

Imogen Crest sat on the stage at the Rose and Swan Theatre, sipping from the Well of Mnemosyne and remembering how she came to be Imogen

Baby Lilacs - Lemurian Abbey Archive, Wednesday July 20th, 2005.

Spring is approaching
in the southern
hemisphere -
baby lilacs
are stirring beneath
the green cover,
in the beautiful dark earth,
how and when
they will best bloom out,
they wait and
following the signs
and beat of nature.
The dream of
them, the wild
scent, is
our anticipation.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005

This memory poem is special because now I finally have lilacs and am watching them grow out in Spring again, and it seems to be full circle, like many things in Lemuria.  And Spring is a season, that no matter what, speaks of new hope and new life. 

Lemurian Abbey Archive, Tuesday July 26th, 2005


You stressed and strained
against them,
- male or female -
you stressed and strained.
Your beauty and your art,
was razed by gravity -
to flit about with paint and toy with words? -
get thee to the marketplace and into
the arenas of politics! Go!
But your art and beauty is
held in safe reserve, my Italiano, mine.
You saw, you admired, you breathed,
You know the secret heart.
You mourned, and that was so.
Appropriate, indeed.
But heed the current time of day,
and unlace the bridles of old.
The things of soul grow richer
still, my noble Italiano, with age,
and reveal the integrity of your
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.
(image courtesy Google Art Search.)

This was a breakthrough piece, as I claimed creativity both sides.  In some ways it reminds me of an old song.  I love the Renaissance period, and all things Italian.

Orpheus Again - Lemurian Mysteries Archive, Thursday July 28th, 2005.

Fascinated by Orpheus, and have delved into the meaning of this amazing figure many times, and still do.

Where is he?
Did the maenads
tear him apart again
with their glazed eyes?

that is a cycle play -
a drama,
that goes under
and up again. 

he is everywhere
and grows
with or
without our

The Life of Imogen Crest - Lemurian Mysteries Archive, Sunday July 31st, 2005.

Incense mystified the enigmatic
halls where I once roamed,
a novice, dressed in

By book, my scroll,
my pen and dark ink,
my wayward hound and cat,
my pillow of spun silk in red,
the fragrant
rose of lavender.

I am a frieze on a
plastered wall,
still wandering
in my halls and alleys,
cloistered there,
to surmise, not judge.

I am neither you
nor I, cast of
many colours
and skeins.
You might see me in
a tapestry of days?

I saw the rose beginning to
I saw the stone on the
I saw my knight laid
Rusty hill.

Tonight I think
to spin straw
into gold,
and drop my silken
on some
poor merchant’s sill.

Yours, only for now,
in good faith,
- Imogen Crest.
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

This was pretty important, as it was on this date I contacted my muse, Imogen Crest, Hermit, and created a world around her.  It doesn’t seem that long ago, but then she is timeless, too, which is interesting.



And lastly one that describes the Hermitage, where Imogen Crest finds out more about solitude and peace.  All these posts are self defining and carry wonderful memories.  The year 2005 was the year I joined Soul Food and it was a very good year for me, very rich in every way.

The Peace of Imogen Crest - Lemurian Hermitage Archive, Saturday August 6th, 2005.

A Persian rug,
a fireside,
rains sifts down outside,
making the green brighter,
the water is still,
a mirror for the soul.

The light is soft,
a candle flame,
pine cones gather on
the hearth stone,
a book is open
with ancient leaves.

A bowl of flowers,
the tick of hours -
never noticed here -
as they drift in
silent space.

The old stone walls,
the sheltering halls,
the absence of calls,
the noon of wars,
it’s perfect here,
with spirit near -

Yours, - most
- Imogen Crest.


The Rookery - Day Five

Every year everyone gathers at Riversleigh, coming home for Christmas from around the world, to receive Sibyl's hospitality for the festive season.  On thinking about the giving season this year, I realised how much abundance we share and how much abundance is in Nature.  It is a truly bountiful time of the year
Imogen Crest

"Victorian Christmas - Nature's Abundant Song"


Just brought in some fresh citrus fruits to the kitchen table
for everyone, which I picked with Ebony Wilder on my way
back from being lost in the Woods.
Aren't they lovely and juicy looking??
(copyright Imogen Crest 2008.)

Since the very early times, Christmas related festivities carried the symbolism of the green bough or branch of renewal, which was used to decorate homes and streets, as well as public places.  It wasn't until Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in the Victorian Era that the image of the Christmas Tree became popularized, complete with glass ornaments, candles glowing and laden with sweet treats among its branches.  It was typically pine or fir, and carried with it the ancient symbolism of the green bough, and the renewal celebrated with this annual season.  Victorian Postcards from the era show lovely scenes of these trees and the characteristic figure of Santa Claus, dressed in red.  Red and green are important Christmas season colours, and signify positive energy, warmth, plenty and renewal.  Abundance is a true Christmas theme, where Nature provides her bounty, to be especially prepared as food and drink, to be used as sacred greenery for decoration, and becoming the spontaneous exchange of heartfelt gifts around the world.  The Christmas Tree has been the subject of many Christmas songs and carols, so rests deeply in the psyche as belonging to this abundant season, and the green of it with the hope of renewal for the new year to come.


Red Ladybirds flourish around the Christmas
Season in Australia, and roses bloom in


Australian native Bursaria Spinosa is also known as
"Christmas Bush", flowering at that time of
year, and used traditionally by early
settlers as decoration for homes and public

Activities for a Nature inspired Christmas:

DSCF1828 -

1.  Think of alternative ways to wrap Christmas gifts.  Calico is an inexpensive way to wrap, as it's thin and can be re-used for other things.  Trim it with holly leaves and red ribbon for a Christmas pudding theme.
2.  Collect natural items for decorations, such as vacant bird nests, pine cones, pine branches, or pretty flowers, and arrange them around the home.
3.  Put out water or seeds for animals at the festive time.
4.  Buy nuts in the shell and a good nutcracker for a lovely authentic Christmas feel.
5.  Plant out Christmas foliage and flowers to give the garden a festive feeling.
6.  Keep a Christmas Nature diary to remember everything that was special about the giving season.


Got lost in the Giant Sequoia Forest, Ladies, and have finally made it
back through the winding paths of the Murmuring Woods to the Manor.
Here are some cones for the Christmas decorations and a good old
Australian Gum leaf to put on the mantelpiece. 
The aroma from the leaves is heaven sent!!
(copyright Imogen Crest 2008.)

Imogen Crest Online

Sustainability City
Sustainability City" is part of a Soul Food Cafe initiative called "Wild Gardeners". The intention of this lens is to provide information on urban sustainability, how it is possible, and how it is working every day, often without any fanfare or fuss. Nature just does the work, and the living things of the plant kingdom thrive to their natural pace of evolution with the seasons. It's easy in busy lifestyles to forget that Nature endures, that all life has its place, even in heavily populated urban environments. Possibly these are the places that need nature the most?
Creative Nature
Accept Evolution...

Nature is an ever changing process, and without it, the planet would be continually suffering. Trees protect and make homes for small creatures, shelter people and provide shade. Some people believe they have soul, and can attract you to them. Whatever you believe, they are beautiful to look at, as are most things in nature. Take a look at some beautiful images, and think of the diversity in nature...

All images copyright and remain the property of Monika Roleff(nature pics) and Heather Blakey (archetypal sketches)...
Reading Lounge
olitude at the Lemurian Hermitage can be found in the reading room, to enjoy the benefits of contemplation though reading. Put on some relaxing music and choose from the range of soulful reading materials available here.
Crest Hermitage
Crest Hermitage is a place where Nature and its colour and healing quality take centre stage. Through daily working with the surprising quirks and patterns of nature over a year at Soul Food Cafe, under the position of resident hermit, Imogen Crest, I was inspired to create the world as I saw it, through Nature and colour. The store is hosted by Cafepress and the products give back the connection to Nature that is often lacking in busy lives of modern people. What you surround yourself with, becomes your reality. This lens applies interesting information on Nature,colour and healing, and is linked to the store, where it can also be accessed. Products are shown below, which are periodically changed, created as original photographic art by Imogen Crest . Feel free to leave a comment in the box below, and explore the links to learn more about Nature, and the way it works for us, and around us.
Soul Food Store
Nature provides endless inspiration for the Abbess when she takes solitude for creating art at the Hermitage. Autumn has arrived, bringing beautiful changes of colour to the leaves of trees, walks in the cool breeze by the sea, and thoughts of abundance at the Hermitage. Imogen Crest and the Abbess often turn to gardening for creativity, working with the changes that Autumn brings, in the vast grounds of this place of solitude

You Can Go Down To The Woods Today

murmuring woods

Beyond Riversleigh Manor, not marked on any map, lies the enchanted Murmuring Wood, where the sylphs and nature spirits play, and the trees talk, and brooks babble. Watched over by Imogen Crest the Hermit, when not at the Lemurian Hermitage, on a Grand Tour, or at the City of Ladies in Cyberia, it is usually a place of infinite peace, wisdom and exploration. Yet it also contains the magical Faraway Tree, where Madame L’Enchanteur is mistress of many mysterious lands. Herself a mystery, no-one has ever been able to predict what will happen in Lemuria. Yet what is known is that no journey is done, but through the woods, and through the trees…