…at my feet. Alongside a ghostly remnant of last summer…tiny flowers lean in towards a star ninety-three million miles above.
Walking through the woods yesterday…I spotted these half-buried rocks. They reminded me of the stone walls made by the Incas in Peru. The Waxhaw Indians, for whom this area of the Piedmont was named, were long gone before Europeans arrived on the scene in the 18th century. Perhaps, I’d stumbled upon some ancient remains of a lost civilization…within walking distance of my front door?
Careers in the field of alternative history have been built on less evidence. More likely, a natural occurrence of a rectilinear fractured rock. Although…I feel another walk coming on soon…perhaps with a shovel?
There’s a gauzy, lace-like curtain in the window of my living room. The flowers that are woven into the curtain…while beautiful in and of themselves…obstruct the real view that lies behind the curtain. This morning, I was thinking how they’re a lot like our concepts and constructs of who…or what…we think God is. Some parts of the curtain are almost…but not quite…transparent, and offer a glimpse of the real world beyond. Other parts of the curtain…the interesting bits…like the lacy flowers and leafy vines, are quite opaque, and draw my attention from what lies on the other side.
Sometimes…I like to gaze at the world outside my window through the closed curtain. It hides all the perceived imperfections and rough edges, imparting a soft and comforting warm glow to a world that, at times, can seem anything but completely benign. But at other times, when I’m feeling brave…I’ll draw open the curtains, tying them back on each side of the window with little corded loops…beholding the sometimes overwhelming beauty of an especially fine morning.
Can we know God in this life? How do we go about knowing? Are we gazing at the little flowers and vines on the curtain…because they’re easier to apprehend and understand…our grand systems of thoughts and concepts that hold our attention, while the truth…the only truth…lies waiting in silence behind those wispy patterns that so intrigue us?
In one of his poems, Rilke encourages us to, “Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears.” He goes on to say that, “Every happiness is the child of a separation it did not think it could survive.”
All good things come to an end…whether we like it or not. How we face the change though…and what lies beyond that point of inflection in our lives, determines the quality of the remainder of our journey. A fire that doesn’t sputter out…but one that blazes and consumes…leaving not one thing undone.