“What a beautiful evening!” Startled out of my grumbling about a nighttime dog walk on snowy/perhaps icy sidewalks, I looked up to see an increasingly grown-up son of a neighbor. Together we marveled at the hazy sky and a bright half-moon shining, illuminating ice-laden tree branches. I was walking in a wonderland. My obligatory dog walk became an opportunity to enter a world of delight and awe. It certainly was a beautiful evening.
Being in a Lenten mindset of self-denial, my heart opened to another perspective on my giving up fear for Lent. This Lent why not consider accepting the invitation to wonder which God and this world around us offer each and every day. It is as easy to slip into complaining and negativity as it is to be seized by fear. Perhaps wonder could be my alternate response to daily life in an increasingly uncertain world.
It can sound trite, but when we open our eyes to the small and large gifts around us, our lives are transformed if only for brief moments at a time. Stopping to smell the roses (when they arrive) makes sense. Seeing the physical world, people, and situations from a perspective of awe yields blessing upon blessing.
When we are willing to enter into wonder,
- we step out of our small selves and our worries. We recall our connection to one another, to sparkling ice-laden tree branches, and to the Divine.
- Our hearts open to our larger being, and compassion for others increases.
- We experience renewed energy to face whatever is ahead. Indeed, we may feel enthusiasm in its original Greek meaning: inspiration by a god, or, as we believe, God.
- Our eyes see with the eyes of God, and we are drawn closer to a Christ-like view of other as self.
- We become open to new possibilities.
Let us share with one another moments of wonder and awe we experience in the week ahead.
With every blessing,
Discovering this poem by Galway Kinnell was a source of wonder and delight for me.
Saint Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.