You know, there are some mornings when you first step outdoors that the world is so breathtakingly beautiful, you are almost moved to tears: so moved that you can but stand there and stare while the beauty in all its splendor washes over you.
How do such moments ever happen in a universe as dark, empty and lifeless as ours? And what might be their purpose?
The short verse that follows gives some small measure of the depth of my appreciation of the beauty of our precious Earth: of this Garden of Miracles in the Middle of Nowhere that we all call home.
Read slowly and let the memories of your immersions in beauty wash over you…
A Hymn to the Beauty of Nature
On a tranquil autumn morning I was walking all alone
In the quiet of my garden where a rosebush wild had grown;
With its branches drooped and withered I assumed it to be dead,
But there upon its branches lay one stunning rose of red.
What happened next surprised me: to this day I do not know
From whence the words I heard upon that day were whispered low…
But as I knelt to listen, then the rose did lift her head;
She looked upon me softly then, and this is what she said.
“I am Rose,” then spake the flower, “and I’m daughter of a queen
And I’ll be mother to a rosebush e’er the spring first speaks of green.
And I have seen much wonder in the short life I have known
Like an oak that grew to greatness when a tiny seed was sown,
Like the magic in a snowflake, or a robin’s trill in spring:
Smells of new mown hay in summer, autumn geese upon the wing.
I’ve known sun-scorched days of dryness, heat and ever blazing night:
I’ve felt gentle breezes rolling through the quiet of the night.
I’ve known poet, prince and pauper, yes, and treachery and grace:
I’ve seen children cry and old men die in sorrow and disgrace;
I have cried out in the darkness, known despair and need and strife;
But the beauty blazes round me and it consecrates my life.
You need only stop to see it and that beauty you will find
In the glory of a sunset or in someone who is kind.
There is beauty in a dewdrop; in an animal that’s free:
There is beauty inside you, my friend, and maybe some in me.
It is that which gives us hope and it is that which gives us light;
It is beauty that can light a life of never ending night.
Let us show this to our children; take our time and teach them well,
For the fate of what we live for in their tiny hands does dwell.
Let us show them nature’s magic: take the time and let them see
Seeds of mystery in a wildflower: let them touch infinity.
And then maybe, yes just maybe, if they learn their lessons well
Someone else somewhere in time will hear what they then have to tell.
And so it goes from rose to rose through all eternity
Starting long before the time when someone else taught you and me.
So as hints of winter whisper through the skeletons of trees,
The veil will soon be drawn and no more springtimes will I see.
But that’s not cause for sadness and the reason let me say
Is that someone took the time to help a child along the way.
Someone took the time to teach a rose-child in the spring
About life and love and beauty: someone taught that child to sing.
So that now when winter calls I know the wheat from chaff I’ve sieved,
And I can go in peace with thanks for I can say that I have lived.”
. . .
Oh she spoke such thoughts of beauty and the wonder of her days:
And her words they danced together in a heartfelt hymn of praise:
May her wondrous words wash o’er us like the music of the spheres
And bless the lives of everyone who her sweet message hears…