‘Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody.’
~ Thomas Merton, captivated by the rain.
Do you ever get the feeling everything’s alive? I mean, not alive in the ‘MR GREEN’ way you learned in first year biology, you know, can it move, reproduce, grow, respire…….? Ok, then it’s scientifically alive’. But more in a vaguely conscious sort of way?! Sometimes it seems almost certain the grass is dancing and jiggling when the wind ruffles it at the edge of the road. Once or twice I’ve had the suspicion that a sun ray is deliberately playing ‘catch me if you can’ or a stream is having a good old giggle. Clearly the trees talk to each other about things long since past and reminisce. My car knows me well and my bed even better. The moon rides along beside every night-time journey, always keeping an eye out for me. A welcome rolls out of certain buildings. Others are sad from what they’ve seen or what they’ve been abandoned to. A street lamp winks at me when I’m out past my bed time. And all these things are quiet and at a distance. They never judge, they just are, they simply seem to know.
Humans have a strong urge to personalise things. What if in some strange way we are right to do so?
I never said this before because it might sound like I’m a fruit loop. (Working in mental health I’m aware that term would probably be frowned on, but you know what I mean.) Or maybe more like a tree hugging, vegetarian hippie female.
But then I read this (by a man!) with a couple of tears in my eyes and thought, ‘there are at least 2 of us fruit loops then’. And maybe a whole lot more?
‘The companionship of creation was an unexpected comfort during the time in the Alps I have already mentioned. I was in a fragile state. On one occasion I had spent a long while weeping, feeling lost and frightened in the mystery of the pain and struggling to find God in it. After a while the tears stopped and I became still with a mixture of numbness and heightened sensitivity that can often follow an outpouring of grief. I became aware of my small log stove behind me. There in the corner of the room it crackled and clunked while the leaky old kettle on top hissed and steamed. It felt like a wise old friend who loved and understood but would not intrude upon this moment by coming nearer. I became aware of the bare plank walls of my cabin around me. They felt supporting, secure and sheltering – but without closing in upon my space. I looked out of the window. I watched the alpine grasses blowing in the meadow, the clouds tugging at the mountain tops, and felt the cooling air of the approaching evening. Everything around me seemed to understand. Without mocking or excluding, they all knew a secret. All this was sustained in love. All shall be well.’
~ David Runcorn in ‘Choice, Desire and the Will of God’