Monday, July 18, 2005

The powers that slumber


A screen of green between me and the world. Seven weeks ago I planted seeds and a few little tomato plants in pots along the window sill of my studio (an earth-covered "hobbit hole" looking out at Dingle Bay). And look now at what has been assembled atom by atom, molecule by molecule, out of dirt, water and air. Yeah, I know, I know. DNA, RNA, protein assembly, and all that. But knowledge just makes it seem all the more remarkable. For example, the way the morning glories all helix in the same right-handed fashion up their poles. The way the lettuce leans into the sun. The way the peas, as they blossom, announce their kinship to vetch, trefoil and clover. All of that asleep in tiny flecks in a Burpee packet.

I think of words of Teilhard de Chardin: "Let us go on and on endlessly increasing our perception of the hidden powers that slumber, and the infinitesimally tiny ones that swarm about us, and the immensities that escape us because they appear to us simply as a point."