Blue Hour Reflections

I spent some time in the trees and fields yesterday evening, and I brought my Bible with me to read at blue hour — the time of day right after the sun sets, but before it’s dark and there’s that sort of cool magenta glow to the air and atmosphere.

I watched the colors of the sky shift. I saw rain way off in the orange glow of the horizon. And then I read aloud to the birds in the branches surrounding me from the book of Ecclesiastes chapter nine.

There’s a quote from Wendell Berry that I think of often, a kind of background hum always playing in my mind. It goes like this:

“I don’t think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a “hypaethral book,” such as Thoreau talked about – a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. This is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine – which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes.”

As I was sitting in the tall grass of a field, surrounded by trees and bushes and the sounds of little critters running to and fro, I noticed a tree with newly blossoming leaves. The leaves looked even smaller than they were because right next to them, scattered on the branches, were large two-inch thorns. I thought this tree was a good resting place for my Bible. It captures both the hope and reality of our lives. So I took a few photos.

Find a way to be confronted by wonder today, and then be astonished by it, and then find someone to tell about it. And as you eat your lunch today, eat something that has grown from the ground, a fruit or vegetable of some sort, and as you chew it up, meditate on the miracle of that very moment. Soak it up.

I recently decided, at the suggestion of a wise man, that I will start each morning saying “Thank you” and ending each day with “Your will be done.”

Published by Andrew

a ragamuffin dad planting some sequoias

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