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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thin Moments

This past weekend, after fighting ice and slush to get up our driveway, I stopped the car at the top of the hill to get a closer look at one of our hawk's nests.  It turned out that the sun was too bright for a good view of the hawk.  Understand that I am not complaining! The absence of a good hawk photo allowed me to focus on some other views including this lovely tree adorning my skyscape.
The white branches of the perfect beech tree shone against the blue sky as if illuminated from within.  The contrast first drew my eyes then convinced me to keep looking until my eyes watered from the brightness and the beauty. 
Unexpected light often turns an average moment into an event or a revelation.  Like a laser, the sun's light can etch an image onto our mind where it may stay until the end of time.   One of these moments came when I was checking out our property line to see what damage had been done by four-wheelers heard earlier in the day. They usually travel around our line, leaving their slashing scar to define the edge of property.  Sometimes they cut across, though, damaging the hay and uglifying the field.
 It was late afternoon just before a snow fall.  Little did I know that this was one of the last times I would see the ground without a covering of snow for several weeks.    The sun was pouring out a last brilliant glow before it became serious abut setting.  The tall grass turned from a dull beige to a glowing yellow ochre right before my eyes.  Uncharacteristically, I did not have my camera along.  The light was changing quickly so there was no time to go back home to get it. But, "Hooray!" I did have my cell phone with its dinky little camera.
I whipped it out of my pocket, flipped it open and gave it my best effort.  With much manipulating to get the exposure just right, holding the phone high above my head to fool the lense into the right exposure, it finally captured some good images that reflected what I saw.  After deleting about a dozen that were either too dark or too bright, I vowed to never leave the house again without my Canon.
After my few moments in this field, I know a bit of what the Katharine Lee Bates saw in1893 when she was inspired to pen of O Beautiful For Spacious Skies.  While she was in Colorado, not West Virginia, before me were "amber waves of grain" lighting up my field of vision.  The light had changed a mediocre electric line right-of-way into a work of art fit for Van Gogh.    For me at this moment, this became what the Celts would call a "thin" place and moment.  This was a place where the creator reminded me of the Presence in creation.

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