The first of the 16 questions my Spiritual Connection in Daily Life book explores is, “Have you been spiritually touched by the beauty of creation?”
A favorite poet of mine, Seamus Heaney, died last week, and it seemed a good time to offer this excerpt from my book, which includes part of one of his poems.
“Experiences of wonder are there for the taking. They are around us every day. Awe-inspiring colors and sounds and touch-sensations. Signs of and pointers to the transcendent. When we have these experiences, we touch the transcendent as obviously as we touch the chairs we sit on. It may seem even more real. These feelings can provide encouragement to us. When I look out over a lake, watch a sunset from a balcony, see the bud of a flower in a vase in my apartment, watch the flame of a candle, there can be for me a vivid sense of the “more than.”
“What do you see as the beauty of creation? Can you see it in tears? In faces? In the rough and the smooth?
“Poetry, through expert use of language, can capture this well, and call our attention to these experiences.”
Seamus Heaney’s poem “Postscript,” is a great example of this, and I quote it in the book; you can read it now here on line.
After Heaney’s quotation, I continue in my book,
“If we live in the countryside or near water or spectacular scenery, this can seem easier. But even in an urban environment, evidence of this is there for the taking. Parks, the sky, plants in our apartment, the sound of water, the beauty of people’s faces. And on the other hand, we can miss the chance even in the midst of the obvious. While living in a village on a mountainside in Switzerland, the Alps were usually in view, but I could be so consumed by my own preoccupations that I just did not notice this awe-inspiring beauty. These experiences are not defined by the setting, although it may be easier to feel in some places. You may want to go somewhere that helps you to see this beauty. Do you find space in your life for “wow”? There is something about the very substance of life itself that can inspire us, keep our hearts from drying up. When are you aware of it?”