Monday, January 21, 2002

Monday morning

It is another brilliantly sunny, moderately warm day. It's a holiday, too! Although, as a grad. student, that usually means I should be studying. OK. I'll do some writing (hopefully) but I also want to get OUT into this beautiful day.

Yesterday's sermon was about not taking small miracles, evidences of grace, for granted just because they are free and we don't work for them or necessarily deserve them. The pastor read a piece from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard where she describes what I call "whirlybirds" or "helicopter" seeds:
I saw what looked like a Martian spaceship whirling towards me in the air. It flashed borrowed light like a propeller. Its forward motion greatly outran its fall. As I watched, transfixed, it rose, just before it would have touched a thistle, and hovered pirouetting in one spot, then twirled on and finally came to rest. I found it in the grass; it was a maple key, a single winged seed from a pair. Hullo. I threw it into the wind and it flew off again, bristling with animate purpose, not like a thing dropped or windblown, pushed by the witless winds of convection currents..., but like a creature muscled and vigorous, or a creature spread thin to that other wind, the wind of the spirit which bloweth where it listeth, lighting, and raising up, and easing down. (p. 275)
The pastor spoke of taking notice of small gifts, graces, like a maple key, even though we don't work for them or buy them, and being thankful.

While I was looking for the maple key passage, I discovered that Chapter 6, "The Present," is about trees, sycamore trees especially, Laura.
I am sitting under a sycamore by Tinker Creek. I am really here, alive on the intricate earth under trees....My mind branches and shoots like a tree.

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