… if you ran, time ran. You yelled and screamed and raced and rolled and tumbled and all of a sudden the sun was gone and the whistle was blowing and you were on your long way home to supper. When you weren’t looking, the sun got around behind you! The only way to keep things slow was to watch everything and do nothing! You could stretch a day to three days, sure, just by watching!
~Ray Bradbury from Dandelion Wine
Late summer is a time to slow down and just watch, to stretch the days out as long as possible.
I have a tendency to race through the hours granted to me, heedless of the sun settling low behind me; I don’t want to surrender the day to the advancing march of darkness.
So I choose for now to be observer and recorder rather than runner and racer, each moment preserved like so many jars of sweet jam on a pantry shelf.
The sun may be setting, but I want it to take its time.
There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
It is too easy to become blinded to the glory surrounding us if we perceive it to be routine and commonplace.
I can’t remember the last time I celebrated a blade of grass, given how focused I am mowing it into conformity.
Too often I’m not up early enough to witness the pink sunrise or I’m too busy to take time to watch the sun paint the sky red as it sets or to witness the ever-changing cloud formations above.
I didn’t notice how the light was illuminating our walnut tree until I saw the perfect reflection of it in our koi pond — I had marveled at a reflection instead of the real thing itself.
I miss opportunities to rejoice innumerable times a day. It takes only a moment of recognition and appreciation to feel the joy, and in that moment time stands still. Life stretches a little longer when I stop to acknowledge the intention of creation as an endless reservoir of rejoicing. If a blade of grass, if a palette of color, if a chance reflection, if a movement of clouds — if all this is made for joy, then maybe so am I.
Even colorless, plain and commonplace me, created an image-bearer and intended reflector of light.
Maybe so am I.
and the rest
is what came after.
you’re the flavor
of my best,
for a tongue tip,
You were nothing
until I picked
do we willingly
would I be if
I’d kept walking?
~Kathleen Flenniken (2012 – 2014 Washington State poet laureate)
I’m glad I stopped
where I was going
what I was doing
to admire and taste
never to come again~
yet so sad
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—
his eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that people are without excuse.
Divinity is not playful.
The universe was not made in jest
but in solemn incomprehensible earnest.
By a power that is unfathomably secret,
There is nothing to be done about it,
but ignore it,
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
We weren’t conceived by random happenstance,
even those who are not welcomed
but wished or washed away before taking a breath.
We are here because we were earnestly needed and wanted,
by a power and divinity beyond comprehension
with a capacity for love and compassion
beyond anything in our earthly experience.
We aren’t a cosmic joke.
We aren’t pawns in the universe’s chess game.
We may look silly as we intentionally loll about in the smelly stuff of life,
or we may think what we say or do doesn’t matter a hill of beans,
but we are created to clearly see God for who He is,
and in whose image He made us.
He won’t be ignored;
we have no excuses.
It is time to open our eyes,