Sunday, July 02, 2006



I wanted to write a piece about a flower – I wanted to get a picture of one and write how it comes from a seed and how we come from much the same and yet we need love to blossom. I wanted to write about how wondrous it is that God brings such beauty out of something as tiny as a seed.

Beauty emerges wondrously from so many things.

Will God bring life out of death? I hope so – I am not sure. How can one be sure of such a mystery?

When I see a flower and know that there are trillions of them, I realize that we cannot create even one. And they are so beautiful, so very beautiful. Such a finely crafted and living mystery – with colors that entice and attract, petals that absorb and little veins that sustain, with roots that nurture and stems that wave in the breeze and, yes, there are the wondrous places in each flower where more seeds are made – to be given to the wind, dropped to the ground, consumed by a bird – so that there will be more and more flowers and beauty, over and over again.

It is said that God is everywhere and I like that and believe that, though it is a presence I am rarely conscious of.

God has colors and petals and seeds and is as well the sun and the rain and the wind - and a child smiled at me and it was the most beautiful thing I saw today. I looked for a flower and was given a child.

You were by the lake and your Uncle Chaminade gave you bread to feed the geese and you laughed and took the bread from his hand. And I took your picture as you stood on the shore of the lake, as you watched for magic things, like turtles and geese, ducks and the movement of the waters. It was beautiful. It was yesterday, was it not? Just a while ago. And then I left you, with your image in my camera and your face and life in my heart. You looked at me a lot and smiled and probably do not know my name, but that is okay. I remember when I was young and there were a lot of older people and I did not think back then about knowing their names. Maybe your Mama may tell you who I was, the monk with the camera.

And life is, indeed, a little while. We do not have each other very long, though you do not yet know that. You gazed out at the lake and you saw it with the eyes of a child, looking at things that fascinated you and made you smile. And I saw your Mama and Grandma pick you up and hold you and kiss you, and they said that they loved you – but as they spoke your eyes were yet on the lake and I understood that.

We hear, feel, and look and look and look. The waves promised more with each ripple, with each passing moment. It is good that you listened and looked. Some day I hope you connect the voice you heard, the love that held you, with the place where you were looking. It is all one.

Someday you may think about how it is that you looked at a lake and could make the waves come to you, with the magic that they bring. The waves came and brought turtles and geese. You reached out and took bread, and fed the geese.

And such is life. You will grow and hopefully be held and know more love, and waves will come, bringing children and friends, and, yes, even more geese and turtles. And your heart will grow, as will your vision. And you will be held and told you are loved, and may even then look beyond, to see the waves – and that is good. And I hope all good things come to you on those eternal waters– and that you feed them, and listen to who holds you, and run, run, to each wave and share that love with whoever comes ashore.

It all comes, in little and eternal whiles, wave after wave.

1 comment:

Lindsay & Lilian said...

Hi James,
Thanks for your kind comments. I see that East of Eden is among your favourite books. I've just finished it again. I'm a big Steinbeck fan. Probably my favourites are Cannery Row and Tortilla flat.
God bless
Lindsay Allen