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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beauty

Do you ever have those moments when you know there is something powerful and awe-inspiring at work in the space where you are? Something beyond yourself that makes you catch your breath with its beauty or power or inspiration? Something that gives you a tingly feeling because you know you were blessed to be there at that moment?

It’s not necessarily a big moment – sometimes it’s something very small and seemingly insignificant – but it’s usually a moment that changes you in some way. Sometimes it’s just a song that fills you with inspiration and hope. Sometimes it’s the glimpse of your child at play. Sometimes it’s a deep inexplicable knowing that there is goodness or beauty in the world.

I’m not sure what to call those moments, nor how to accurately define them. Words just don’t seem to suffice. I heard someone describe them as moments in which you “experience the sacred”. Others refer to them as “spirit-filled” moments. Probably for each of us, a different definition holds some measure of truth.

I had one of those moments on the train last week. As I gazed out the window at the passing scenery, I found myself mesmerized by the beauty of snow. Snow painting the tips of evergreen trees. Snow melting into droplets on the window. Snow crushed by the tires of a car. Fluffy white blankets of snow with just the hint of day-old footprints cutting like giant quilting stitches through middle. Snowflakes falling gently from the sky and mingling with the millions already on the ground.

Just then, a song started playing on my mp3 player. These were the opening lyrics: “Look out your window on a winter's morning, your breath is steam and there's frost falling, and the sun casts a spell upon the road. A thing of beauty is not a thing to ignore.” Wow. What a moment! This was not just some random snow-covered landscape. This was a thing of beauty. This was a gift from God for my hungry eyes.

While I sat there in awe of the snow and the song and the presence of God, the train rounded the corner and the vista changed. There spread in front of me was the great Lake Ontario in all its cold blue wonder, capped by white icing on the edges of the waves, blending into the blue, green and grey of the sky. The second verse of the song came on…“And the water does a dance upon the stones - I sit and listen, I will not ignore.” My eyes filled with tears at the pure wonder of it. I think I was shaking a little, feeling the indisputable presence of the sacred.

It is impossible to accurately capture these moments in words or even in pictures. Even the memory of it doesn’t do justice to the power of the moment. I am so grateful, though, that I was there and that I was open to encountering God.

Here’s a video that someone put together using the song as background. It’s quite lovely to watch. Be inspired.





Thing Of Beauty
Hothouse Flowers

Look out your window on a winter's morning
Your breath is steam and there's frost falling
And the sun casts a spell upon the road
A thing of beauty is not a thing to ignore
Great song of beauty

Stand by the river on a moonlight evening
Lovers are loving and grievers are grieving
And the water does a dance upon the stones
I sit and listen, I will not ignore

A thing of beauty is not to be ignored
Can't you see (can't you see)
It in the secrets of the dawn? (thing of beauty)
Can't you feel (can't you feel)
Can't you feel it in the place that you come from? (thing of beauty)

Face up to morning
Face up to day
Face up to reality
And face up to your ways

There is so much to breathe, see, know, understand and do
And I believe in things of beauty
Do you, do you?
Can't you see
Can't you see it in the secrets of the night? (thing of beauty)
Can't you feel
Can't you feel it in the wonder of a birds first flight? (thing of beauty)
Can't you see, can't you see it
See it in the gentle falling of the snow?
Can't you feel, can't you feel
Like a mother feels when she knows her child has grown?

Come to conclusions
I believe we all do
To look around us and the taste of the fruit
Set free your morals
It should be written on every door

A thing of beauty is not a thing to ignore
Can't you see (can't you see)
It in the magic when a boy meets a girl? (thing of beauty)
Can't you feel it, can't you feel it
In the wonders of the changes of the world? (thing of beauty)
Can't you see (can't you see)
It when right comes out of wrong? (thing of beauty)
Can't you feel (can't you feel)
It as it goes on and on? (thing of beauty)
Can't you see (can't you see)
It in what's left beneath the ground? (thing of beauty)
Can't you feel (can't you feel)
It in the mystery of sound? (of sound, thing of beauty)
Can't you see
Can't you see it in the glory of the sun? (thing of beauty)
Can't you feel, can't you feel it in the wonder of the one...
One
Can't you feel one and only?
One and only
Can't you feel it, can't you feel it, feel it
Thing of beauty?

2 comments:

Joyce said...

creepy, and a little irreverent but I had a teeny, tiny moment like that on tuesday. In the Peg, ALONE, sneaking a menthol, ALONE, stopped at a train crossing and noticing the incredible sparkle of the snow on the median.

Not nearly as appropriate as yours, but yours was so beautiful to read. Thank you.

karla said...

That video was fabulous. I'm trying to fathom how much work has went into it.