28 Feb

Red fox

Our eyes met at the same time, both of us intruders in one another’s lives.

I looked out the window, sleep still in my eyes, and froze. Likewise, his gaze caught mine. Frozen, he looked in at me from the backyard, a nocturnal creature caught staying out late. We both stared at each other – studying one another – frozen in our surprise. Him at me, and me at him. A single pane of glass separated our respective worlds, and before those worlds could collide, he jogged out of view and back to his solitary world.

I had disrupted his morn. He had enlightened mine.

13 Feb

Visitors

Robin at Sunset

"Robin at Sunset" (Molly, Age 5)

It was a bad day for the worms. Frozen for weeks, the snow-covered ground thawed in one of those misleading warm February days that hint at spring. Mud replaced the snow, and the worms had nowhere to hide.

Just before dusk, the birdfeeder freshly filled, the robins came calling. Well over a hundred red-breasted birds descended upon the lawn from every direction, and my daughter and I found ourselves witness to a winged winter’s picnic. It was as if a piñata had been opened up as the birds frantically gorged in the mud. They flew by our heads without care, their beaks too eager to take advantage of the thaw. They knew better than to think spring was here. The thaw was fleeting, better seize the day!

Excited by the sudden visitors, Molly ran inside and came back a moment later with her notebook, a pen, and some crayons. We perched ourselves in a nook next to the forsythia, where just a few minutes before she was trying to make friends with a rabbit by hurling some lettuce and carrots at it.

Now, sitting with canvas in hand, Molly began to draw the scene before her. Robins frolicked in their manic state, flying, hopping, and pecking all around us. It was a race against time, for the freeze would come in the cover of night and the worms would be safe come morning. The birds gorged, the sky bled red, and the sun began to show signs of calling it a day.

We sat there in our invisible state, witness to God’s creation, and visitors in our own backyard.

06 Feb

Divine shadows

In the brightness of a snowy moonlit night, the shadow of the towering tree is cast upon the earth. Barren branches reach in every direction, and their shadows dance on the snow in their distorted way.

I gaze out at the snowy canvas and envy the moon. Like God, it casts its light from the heavens, an artist curious to see what mark will be left upon the earth.

Branches wave in the wind, and thus wave on the ground. Who is the artist – the moon or the tree? The snowy canvas reveals only beauty, but hints at the answer.

Art mirrors the artist.

Moon. Tree. Shadow. Tis the divine simulacrum.