Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dearest freshness deep down things

Commenter Barry looks for the divine in the mysteries of the big bang and why there is something rather than nothing. He is correct that science has no answers to these questions, and he is not alone in looking for God in the gaps of science.

But gaps have a way of getting filled, even as new gaps appear. I'm more inclined to encounter the unnamable Mystery in the continuing miracle of the commonplace -- the sweet slurring song of the meadowlark, a spider web bejeweled with morning dew, the ceaseless dance of DNA in every cell of my body, a summer night canopied with stars.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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 & 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 & with ah! bright wings.

And speaking of poetry, here is an unshod poet, Charles Goodrich, who should be better known by all who attend with reverence to the natural world.