Time out for wonder

Actually posted this in September of 2007, but it popped into my head, just now, so I thought I’d repost it with a little explanation.

Behind the post was this: Buster had just left for college. Elder Son had not yet boomeranged back, so my husband and I were facing our “empty nest.” While I wasn’t exactly worried about how we would reconnect after our focus being so kid-primary for all those years -we’re each other’s best friends, after all (which just shows you how little we get out!)- I had convinced my husband that we should take a scripture class at a local Catholic school.

Although we adapted very well to the nest-emptying, the classes were interesting and so my husband and I were happy to continue them. During one of the sessions, the instructor had urged us to find a quiet place, either in the school or the church, to pray. Always the renegade, when everyone else left to seek out the perfect spot, I remained in the now-empty classroom and sat by a window, looking out at the sky and praying. Came home and posted this.


Sparkles from the Wheel Via Hubble

To sit by an open window of a dark and quiet autumn night and hear in the sounds of distant traffic, the ebb and flow of the ocean (or the rushing water of a stream) is to displace oneself from all that is absolute, solid, identifiable and known, and to seek out the larger space that exists half in-reality and half in-perception. Half in heaven and half on earth.

Tonight I sit by a window in a local schoolroom in a landlocked town, and I can hear the sound of the ocean…no, the traffic…no, a stream, and to me it all seems like a world of oneness and infinite possibility.

Voices are voices. Voices are foghorns and gulls and music somewhere distant – beyond where I am.

All of this is God revealing himself in a duality of wonder. The wonder-illusion of space and time and the limitlessness of our imaginings. The wonder of everything being both real and not real, illusion and reality. I am here at this desk. I am there, on the beach. There is here. Only God can create this mystery and live within it.

All is one. Atoms are mountains; mountains are atoms – all creation quivers with the love and intention of the Creator.

So I sit by this window. Today I did mundane, real things. Today I heard the ocean. Today I sat in a room full of strangers, and while I did not see them “shining like the sun” ala Thomas Merton, I saw them with better-than-my-own eyes, with perhaps an infinitesimal bit of “God-eyes” – the tiniest sense of love, comprehension, recognition, compassion for everyone there – a mere millisecond of bright understanding, no more than the smallest speck of sand in the vast beach/ocean/desert that is God’s constant awareness, God’s constant, intensive intent. Just that one flash, that snapshot felt so enlarging. So then, how vast and huge and unfathomable is the reality of the love of the Creator?

We get gifts every day. This is my gift for today – the gift of wonder. Wonder at my own children. Wonder at the rich mystery of marriage. Wonder at the tiny sparks – the divine sparks – that exist in each of us, like sparks that leap from a campfire, from the Fire of the Creator, carried away on the breeze – to be reclaimed by him at the time of his choosing, when he “calls all things to himself.”

The wonder of our little sparks working so diligently, so trustingly to re-connect with his great unfathomable Flame. “O Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” (St. Augustine).

There is a poem by Walt Whitman, “Sparkles from the Wheel,” – a knife sharpener plies his trade, a stone wheel turns against an edge of steel and sparkles fly.

The Word, the Logos, the Incarnation is the Rock. The Intention of the Creator hews the sharp edge.

All humanity, the sparkles.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • dry valleys

    You are right lucky to be living by the sea! (mind if I ask exactly which area it is you live in?)

    I would go swimming- I prefer lakes, though. I don’t live near a lake, regrettably, so I don’t swim at all.

    Aye- looks like events going on out there- you may wish to delay your return to earth because it’s not to your liking :)

    [I live on Long Island. And no, I have no worries about "events." I take the long view. Everything happens to its time and purpose unto heaven! ;-) -admin]

  • http://www.stoptheaclu.com Jay

    I think in these kind of terms all the time dealing with religion. I see God in everything. Atoms aren’t just mountains. Atoms are like solar systems, or even mini-universes. The universe is like an atom. God is within. The Kingdom of heaven is in the heart. We are made in His image. Body, mind and soul…three in one. Jesus the body, God the mind, the holy Spirit the soul. Microcosm Macrocosm. God within and all around. We are drops of water in the ocean that is God.

    I see God’s work and miracles everyday when I look at my daughter.

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  • http://victor-undergo.blogspot.com/ Victor

    Now that you guys and/or gals are talking so deep, “IT” reminds me that God told me in so many Thoughts while in deep prayer that each and every one of our cells will need to answer to Our God which is a deep “LOVE” within each of our hearts which will represent a spiritual clone of US (usual sinner) and round and round we will go for eternity correcting and trying to direct each and everyone to The Love that God Our Heavenly Father has for each and everyone of humanity. Whenever any of our spiritual cells see God’s Light they will need to walk the walk and talk the talk that we did while on earth and some of our clones might even out do US and then there are some that we won’t even be able to help because they won’t want our help cause they will also have free Will but then there will still be hope for them if they follow the road of God’s Cross of Jesus and if they follow “IT” with a sincere heart there will be no chance of them ever being crucified because Jesus has already run The Course for each and every one of US.

    I better stop now and ask you if this makes any sense to some of you.

    God Bless,


  • Joseph Marshall

    It’s always a pleasure to come by when there are posts like this to lift my heart from a week or so of out of control brain biochemistry. And it is largely a pleasure because this same sense of wonder regrounds my feeling that my “pleasure” or “pain” is beside the point, mere background noise from prior causes and conditions, and neither adds to nor detracts from the way things really are.

    We are not breathing, we are being breathed. And there is no reference point you can call a “breather” anywhere.

    Nothing is more enjoyable than to realize that enjoyment is beside the point. Nothing.

  • Joseph Marshall

    I do, however, yearn to hear the sea once more, whether the restless growling undertow of the Atlantic or the steady rolling beat of the Pacific that merely deepens but does not change in dirty weather. When I look West, as I can, and see it flat as a pool table all the way to Denver and when I look East, as I do, to fear the coming of the worst of our weather–and its challenges to comfort and ease–when the wind [so rarely] is from that quarter, it’s hard for me to yearn for much of anything.

    All points of the compass here are merely Alphabet Soup.

  • dry valleys

    I’d like to live in Montana if I moved to America, because it has such remote places where a man can be a man, etc.

    I don’t know if I’d actually be able to handle it or if I’m just being a poser :)

  • Maureen

    If you lie down on the ground, especially in the grass, you will quickly find that no land is really flat as a pool table. Not even the old seabottom of the Plains.

    So there are plenty of hills and valleys. Just on a smaller scale. :)

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  • Amelia

    Thank you for your post…it was beautiful and and a wonderful reminder about the mysteries of God.