"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

17 January 2013

"Dearest freshness deep down things . . ."

It’s one of those mornings.  Gloomy, rainy, cold for the second week in a row, exacerbating the fibromyalgia and arthritis.  Too little sleep.  Many people I love dearly facing deep, life-challenging problems and nothing one can do to help but cry with, pray for, let the heart ache. 

Then, coming up the drive to campus, movement in front of the chapel.  Odd, at first, coming out of shadow and fog, but resolving into the graceful form of a doe leading her yearling fawn, stretching to full speed to make it across the road and into the grassy field before the beast with the too-bright eyes could cause them harm. 

Beauty, beauty, beauty.

In all our brokenness and despair, He keeps giving us beauty to remind us of His presence and His care for this world He created.  Hopkins says it best, as always:

God's Grandeur
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Lord, may we always cling to Your Truth and be open to Your beauty in this world, broken though it is, allowing You to remind us of Your great love for us, whatever appearances may be at any given time. 

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be, world without end.  Amen.


barn swallow said...

Oh, yes! Aren't those reminders of God's goodness wonderful?

Beth Impson said...

Yes, indeed! Thanks for visiting!

LuCindy said...

Hopkins always leaves me with a lump in my throat of grateful broken-heartedness. You are right. This world may be a shattered glory, but so deeply glorious is anything from Abba's hands that the shards are still brilliant enough to dazzle.

Love you.

Beth Impson said...

I always find myself back at Hopkins . . . Love you, too!

D.M. SOLIS said...

Beautiful contemplation. I'm trying to remember where I first heard the word, "Inscapes." It's a wonderful title for your blog. Was it Joseph Campbell? And GMH always gets me. Thank you for the thoughtfulness and beauty I find here.

Our blogs are similar in some ways. I am a Christian contemplative, and that is my faith tradition. I also practice Zen meditation. If you wish to take a look at my blog sometime, I hope you will. If not, kindly pardon this tiny intrusion. Peace and all good things for you in contemplation, prayer, and in life.


Beth Impson said...

Hi, Diane -- thanks for visiting. "Inscape" was Hopkins' word for, to be very reductive, the essence of a thing. "As kingfishers catch fire" captures this concept beautifully.

You have beautiful photography at your weblog. Lord bless you in your journey.