By Bob Weaver 2001
The oaks were arched with fallen snow on that cold winter day in the early 1950s, the ground
covered white as I walked the old ridge road between Hur and Mt. Zion.
Just me and my dog Blackie.
The winter birds tweeted loudly that day while moving slow and labored across the peaks and dips of the primitive road, snow bending the trees toward the ground.
It was with the clarity of a religious experience, I knew my memory would recall the delights of this very day if I grew to
be an old man.
I have grown old, and the memory is fresh.
It was seeing the world as it really was, or maybe more magnificent.
It belonged to me and I never wanted to leave
the drabness of winter, I could feel and hear life gushing from the earth and sky, and I knew that creation
was greater than all I heard from the pulpit of the Mt. Olive Church.
The challenging of
human senses, questioning how can we be so blind to its beauty.
Yet in the dust of our daily struggles, the senseless debates and the embracing of
the unimportant, the reality of life and its beauty becomes clouded.
Perhaps, moments like this are marked by a conscious decision to never forget them.
The Psalmist knew of such things when he lifted his eyes to the hills. The deepest beauty of
the world lies not only in its sheen and color, but in its order and meaning, which some contend is quite disorderly.
But I knew that winter day how to make
room for beauty.
Tonight, while recalling those long ago moments of clarity, a storm swept across the Village of Hur, a pageant of color and sound and scent,
split by lightning with its triumphant drums of thunder, the earth cleansed with water tumbling over rocks to Rowel's Run.
I have never tired making hundreds of small trips out the Joker and Husk ridges, all that was seen before is new again, bringing a ever ending epiphany.
Thoreau is reported to have said there
is a lifetime of study in a single oak tree, stream or indeed a primitive and forested path.
Francis of Assisi worshiped God through nature, praising Him for sun and moon, fire and
water, wind and weather, flowers and grass.
We surely most hold reverent that which
stands before us or we will wander aimlessly through life, driven by our self-centered
desires and conspicuous consumption.
And while I have lost this clarity many times, I try to return to it often,
close to that which is greater than myself.