The sun does not shine for a few trees and
flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.
~Henry Ward Beecher
Have you ever seen anything
in your life more wonderful
than the way the sun,
every evening, relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea, and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness, every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower streaming upward
on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early light,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt
for anything such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere,
in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure that fills you,
as the sun reaches out,
as it warms you as you stand there,
empty-handed–or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too gone crazy
for power, for things?
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. ~Deuteronomy 4:19 ✝
She (nature) withers the plant down to the root
that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger.
She calls her family together
within her inmost home to prepare them for being
scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.
Early morning light steals across straw-colored grass and slowly warms the biting chill of a February dawn. Splinters of sunlight glisten and sparkle as they move over the garden’s frost-laden, bare bones. From my vantage point inside I can make out a lone, reddish leaf, not quite ready to be a memory, clinging tenaciously to a branch in the ornamental cherry tree. It reminds me that a wellspring of life lies dormant below in nature’s “inmost home” where “her life is gathered into her heart.” My attention is diverted next to the dogs I hear barking up and down the alleyway. The feral cats must be on the move in search of food. Then birds begin to show up at the feeders and high above their flutterings I see the first squirrels running the high wires. Soon birdsong breaks morn’s silence, and lights start coming on in the once darkened houses around us. The neighborhood is coming alive and gearing up for the day, but no, not I. Since retirement I’ve been able to linger as long as I like most mornings and from my well-situated chair watch the days and the changing seasons pass over my yard. Nature’s recurrent patterns and rhythms have always comforted me, and it’s delightful to be able to partake of her daily feasts. Though evidence of God’s grace is readily apparent in the spectacular moments of life, perhaps sweeter are the ones ferreted out of day to day, ordinary living. These are blessings that are not unlike the contrast of a mass of diamonds scattered out on a dark piece of velvet in which all are lovely but none seems particularly more special than the other and that of a singular diamond’s loveliness on the same piece of fabric which in its aloneness is brilliantly stunning.
For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. ~Psalm 33:4 ✝