“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
~ C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I am moved by the magic in nature: seeds turning to plants, turning to flowers, turning to fruits, producing seeds to repeat tthe whole process the following year; endless varieties of flowers and vegetables and herbs and fruits; the little chipmunk who visited me on the deck yesterday; the funny-looking capybara we saw a few weeks ago; bees dancing in the peppermint; bluebirds playing in the yard. These things fill me with wonder, joy, and peace.
Sometimes a certain music, or a piece of art, or a few words strung together touches something deep and can move me to tears or cause joy to rise.
And yet these things are only a whisper of what is yet to come; as C. S. Lewis reminds me, they are not the thing itself. How thankful I am for these tastes of wonder, these simple delights and glimpses of magic, these treasures I enjoy while I’m here on this earth, these things that all point to the Creator.
This morning, as the sun rises behind the cedars that are dancing in the wind, I’m contemplating the thing itself—the God of heaven and earth—and I am, once again, in awe.