Holiness

We live in all we seek.  The hidden shows up in too-plain sight.  It lives captive on the face of the obvious – the people, events, and things of the day – to which we as sophisticated children have long since become oblivious.  What a hideout: Holiness lies spread and borne over the surface of time and stuff like color.

I went back to my dogeared copy of Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being this week, I’m not sure why.  As I leafed through the familiar pages, these words jumped out at me.  During these days when we wake in darkness and we eat dinner in darkness, when the light is so full of both endings and beginnings, the sun bright yet weak, I am trying to see the holiness spread all over this life of mine.

Some days it jumps out and snaps foil in my eyes, waking me up. How can I miss the beauty in this sky, that was spread out above me on a recent walk with Grace?  If that’s not divinity, tangible in this human world of ours, I don’t know what is.

Or this sunset, seen from my desk.  The sky went deep pink, and I took pictures, and then returned to my computer.  And suddenly, for some reason I can’t recall (maybe I heard car doors slamming and the screeches of my children) I looked back out.  And the sky had caught fire.  If I hadn’t looked over, I would have entirely missed it, as the entire show lasted no more than 5 minutes.  It is impossible not to drop to my knees in reverence, not to feel the presence of something that exists beyond logic – over the horizon – in that sky.  And so I do.

Other days I have to be slightly more aware.  When I parked the car the other day, on my way to an interview on a cold early morning, I could not believe how loud the song of sparrows was.  I looked closely and saw that the bush right by the road, barren and brown, was absolutely full to bursting with sparrows.  I tried to take a picture but of course it didn’t quite capture what I saw.  In the midst of all these dead branches, this fallow world, there is song.


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10 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Breathtakingly lovely – the photos, the words, all of it. Thanks for capturing these moments, and urging the rest of us to pay attention.

  2. Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    That sunset is absolutely amazing. I have been motivated to look up so much more often since reading your blog. The other day, I saw the most amazing moon as I was coming in. There seemed to be a glowing ring around it. And then by the time I ran in to get the girls, their hair still wet from their showers, I brought them outside and the ‘specialness’ was gone…

  3. Posted January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I see signs – most of the time out of nowhere. There is something about the stillness of winter that brings them out for me. The long shadows, even now at 12:41pm the shadows are long. It allows me to see things indirectly and that is why I think I can see the beauty more readily.

  4. Posted January 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I see them, too. Everywhere.

    This is just stunning.

    Thank you.

    XOXO

  5. Posted January 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    This is gorgeous. But that doesn’t surprise me at all.

  6. Posted January 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    A true vacation is a time when I can sit looking out at sunrise or sunset and watch the sky change. Pure magic.

    For years, we lived next door to a house whose attic was taken over by small house sparrows every fall and winter. The owner hated the enormous nest they created, but I adored seeing them fly in through the gable, filling the world with song.

    Our sky recently turned green. A glowing green. It was a storm-sick green, and frightening. But powerful and stunning too.

    I wish I could see more often, more clearly. The beauty is astounding.

  7. Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this reminder to look up and notice the everyday beauty all around me. xoox

  8. Margaret
    Posted January 14, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Last weekend in a rare moment, I took the time to look up at the sky and saw a hawk circling about, right above my front yard. I had just driven in the driveway and stopped to get the mail. I sat there in my car, window down, and followed the hawk’s flight. He (I’m calling it a he!) was flying in circles, essentially, taking off and then gliding, with dips and turns, for as long as he could hold the glide. Over and over again. All right above me. It was just mesmerizing to watch and brought tears to my eyes for unknown reasons. The beauty of nature, the realization that there is so much life out there that I don’t pay enough attention to, the fact that I actually slowed down for once, long enough to be touched and awed by such a sight of natural beauty and grace and strength. Grace and strength – powerful traits that I am trying so hard to incorporate into my soul right now (but feeling very unsuccessful as of late!). I so admire how you take the time out daily to observe nature and that your children have been “bitten by the bug” as well. Do keep it up and do keep sharing your experiences, they are so inspiring and uplifting. Thanks Lindsey!

  9. Posted January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    How beautifully said. Thank you for the inspiration. It is very lovely to hear someone else say the words that are in my own heart.

    My daughter sent me over here to your blog and for that I am most thankful.

    So wonderful to hear and see young women reaching out beyond themselves to the world about them.

  10. Posted January 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    How I wish I could slow life down enough to notice the kind of beauty you so often share with us here.
    xo