Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


The color green

I walked right into a Rich Mullins song today. Late, late in the afternoon, when the light was in a low slant and a spitfire of a thunderstorm had huffed to the east, I took a walk. In Colorado, you walk out the door and go up or down; there's precious little level ground here. I opted for down; it's Saturday after all, and I wanted to swing along to my music in that loping rhythm of breath and heart and stride that makes the everyday fall away and leaves you just in the pilgrim world of your own thoughts. Down I went into the green bowl of our valley with wet pines scratching the sky all round, their needles scenting the air. I got out of the trees onto a crest of hill from which you can spy out miles of mountain range, north to south, plain to peak. Behind me, the storm had hunkered into a navy sulk that flickered with lightning. Before me, the evening sun clung hard and bright to the foothills, spilling a last light into a wide, summered field all wet and green on my right. I started down the hill in the midst of it as Rich Mullin's The Color Green began to play...

Be praised for all your tenderness By these works of your hands, Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless And bring to life your land, Look down upon this winter wheat And be glad that you have made, Blue for the sky, And the color green, To fill these field with praise.

Blue and green praising all around me. Storm shouting and sun leaping up even as the night came to battle it down. The fields lapping at the road stretched up their new, wet green in praise, and all the earth, with its washed, rain-filtered light and greening hills seemed ready to lift hands with me and shout aloud. I walked on again, hard, to the Celtic march of the music, walked right into the world of that song and lifted my heart to let it sing all through me. For just an instant, I lived, as well as heard, the glory of the music.

Do you ever feel that sometimes, rare, lovely times, you fall in love with life all over again? You realize the great, fragile beauty of the earth out your door and the sweetness of the family bumbling their usual ways in your house and are awed by how precious they are. You look at grass and trees and sky as if they were the face of the lover your heart desired. You hear each note of music, read each story or poem that crosses your eyes as if they were notes from the Soul who makes life worth the living.

Life to me is, abruptly, a humble friend I behold with sharper eyes. Grace, I realize, thrums right through the everyday. The eyes of ordinary hours are bright with the banked fire of wonder and suddenly it blazes up to meet my curious sight. There is a great Lover at the heart of this earth, this existence, this thing we call living. I cannot turn away right now. I am wooed to joy, won to fullness of thought and action by the life that leaps into my blood at this  sight of God, brooding and beautiful, in the smallest atom of existence.

Yep, I'm back from my time away. And as you can probably see, it was rather a restorative escape. Pictures to follow. And may you enter a song today as well.