"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

21 January 2011


Having spent most of the break ill with one thing or another, I’ve begun the spring semester inordinately weary, even for me. And it started with snow and ice and gray skies for two weeks, and so I’ve been in a low-level funk, not even overcome by finding that my classes are going to be some of the best I’ve ever had.

Yesterday, I pulled out of the driveway in the early morning darkness to see a single star shining brightly above me, and my heart lifted a moment in the hope of clear skies for the day. I thought of Sam and the star above Mordor and was glad. Then I came around the circle of our neighborhood to be stunned by the sight of the full moon filling the sky with her glorious misty light. She lit my way to work, glowing behind the branches of the trees on the old ferry road. By the time I arrived in the parking lot, she was muted by dark clouds, but glowed faithfully behind them in a reminder of the light always above darkness.

This morning I watched for her as I came around the circle, and there she was, an alabaster glow this time in a clear sky, triumphantly brilliant. Again she lit my way to work, and in the parking lot I was able to sit for a few minutes and simply watch and be filled with her light. A small tree stood beside my car, and as I leaned against the head rest, its branches, bare except for a few clusters of dead leaves waiting to be dropped by new growth, created a dancing frame for the moon’s glow. White clouds sailed below her, lit by her light, and even the dead leaves took on some of her life.

As I finally gathered my things and walked across the parking lot to the building, the moon bright behind me, I realized again her call to faith. She has no light of her own to offer; she does not choose where to be or what to do: she only faithfully keeps the orbit she has been assigned and the sun does all the rest as he sees fit.

(photo by my husband, yesterday morning)


Nellie McFadden said...

Thank you, Dr. Impson. Your blog was encouraging--a wonderful reminder of one facet of our relationship with the Lord. Your writing style this time reminded me of one of Laura's favorite writers, Annie Dillard.

It seems that when we have trouble in our lives that our ability to glorify God is intensified. I had a friend who, when told she had cancer, said, "Everything God does is good." I will never forget that. It meant more for her to say that in adverse circumstances than if she had been perfectly well. So thank you for glorifying God during your difficulties.

BTW, I found the beginnings of your blog on facebook.

Nellie McFadden

Beth Impson said...

Thanks, Nellie. That is high praise, a comparison to Dillard! I am glad I was able to offer something of encouragement; it's so easy to forget the beauty all around us and the hope always in us . . .