By Bob Weaver 2001|
The oaks were arched with fallen snow on that cold winter day in the early 50's, the ground covered with white purity, as I walked the old ridge road between Hur and Mt. Zion. With the clarity of a religious experience, I knew my memory would recall its delights if I grew to be an old man.
It was a defining moment. I knew that I had seen the world as it really is, fair as on the first day that the Lord rested. It was my world. It belonged to me and I never wanted to leave it.
The birds looked to me like angels. Angels that wanted to speak of life's mysteries. And in the drabness of winter, I could feel life gushing from the earth and sky, and I knew that God was greater than all I heard from the pulpit of the Mt. Olive Church. The challenging of human senses, how can we be so blind to beauty.
Yet in the dust we raise in our daily struggles, the senseless debates and the embracing of the un-important, the reality of life and beauty becomes clouded. As if the whole earth weren't on view by blue-eyed day and dark-haired night - the running of grass before the wind, the stab of jeweled light from a dragonfly, the new moon in the twilight sky shining, the smell of lilacs in the breeze or the ripple of water in the tiniest streamlet.
The Psalmist knew of such things when he lifted his eyes to the hills. The deepest beauty of the world lies not in its sheen and color, but in its order and meaning. When you and I make room for beauty, we must cast out ugliness.
Tonight a storm swept across the Village of Hur, a pageant of color and sound and scent, split by lightning and triumphant drums of thunder, the reborn scents of the earth. The sound of water tumbling over rocks to Rowel's Run. Thoreau is reported to have said there is a lifetime of study in an oak tree, as there would be in single stream, nearby.
Francis of Assisi worshiped God through nature, praising Him for sun and moon, fire and water, wind and weather, flowers and grass. If you and I do not hold reverent that which stands before us, we will wander aimlessly through life, driven by our self-centered desires.
And while I have lost this clarity at times, I return to it often and know well why I am here, close to the sod of Calhoun County.
And why we must be upright, always, stewards of our earth and sky.