The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. — Hopkins
Stepping outside after the fall of first dark. Rose and gold leaves shrugged off the Copper Beech and the Japanese Maple glimmer on the damp pebbled walk in the soft light from the porch. I turn west along the sidewalk towards the corner and glide into the brief shadows of the cedars. There, beyond their edges as I glance up… There, behind the nimbus of mist haloed around the streetlight… There the new moon rises tilted like some open, supplicating palm against the darkening last faint line of day fading far away in the West.
Cupped in the upturned arc of the new moon I see, faintly, the disk of Earth’s shadow — dark against darker dark.
I’m out on a very small errand for a quart of milk at the corner store. Only a few seconds in the night. Only a few steps in the night when going either to or from. Ordinary. Unremarkable. Mundane.
And yet here I am. Here we all are.
Here we prepare with milk and bread for one more day of the Earth turning before the sun; for one more cycle of the moon turning around the Earth. Waning and waxing, in and out of shadow, obscuring and then revealing, and then again obscuring its face. And this cycle (Ordinary. Unremarkable. Mundane.) is one of twelve cycles that adds up to one more cycle of the Earth around its single star. A star that is utterly unremarkable. ( Ordinary. Unremarkable. Mundane.) And that star is moving inside its own revolving galaxy, moving at 514,000 miles per hour towards Vega in the constellation Lyra. And from that home star, at only an 8 million mile remove, I — or you — or someone else entirely — steps out into the night and goes to the corner store for a quart of milk. (Ordinary. Unremarkable. Mundane.)
You say you don’t believe in a Creator?
You say you don’t believe in grace?
You say you don’t believe in miracles?
Walk with me to the store for a quart of milk. Walk in star shine from the night lights forged in the impossible fury of the First Moment.
Open your eyes.
Open all your eyes.
Look outside — look beyond — yourself.
[November 2011 — Seattle]