The Church of Awe

If you can look at a spider mite, or a cumulonimbus cloud, or the ring around a full moon and not be simply knocked out by the wonder of it, I can't imagine what it would take to impress you. This day-to-day awe forms the core of my religious experience -- best described as the deepest imaginable appreciation and gratitude.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Waving Hello to Orion

Bob Dog convinced me this morning that "walking the dog" should be put ahead of "drinking coffee" on the daily schedule, so at 5 a.m. I was out giving Bob a spin around the 'hood. As he paused to smell the daily news left on the neighbor's hedge overnight, I looked up through the trees above and saw the constellation Orion spreadeagled across the sky.

I looked away and tried to keep on moving, but Bob was finding a trove of information there in the boxwood, so I glanced up again and almost gasped with amazement. Orion had moved so far! As I stood there, watching it glide across the sky, I had to look away because the sense of motion was making me a little queasy. "Good morning, Mighty Orion," I said, as Bob jangled his tags to let me know it was time to move on.

This weekend, I was interviewed by a reporter for Voice of America radio about the somewhat recent phenomenon of successful, educated adults moving to rural areas and starting small farms. Why, he asked me -- in a voice that indicated there was really no rational, acceptable answer to this question -- would anyone do that?

I tried to answer him, but I could see that nothing I said was really penetrating the cotton balls of arrogance he had stuffed in his ears. People want a more manageable lifestyle, I said. People like the security of knowing that they can surround themselves with a few acres where they can grow some food and create a buffer and a sense of safety. It's more pleasing to the senses to wake up to the sound of frogs and crickets than the wail of sirens and the rumble and clang of garbage trucks.

There's nothing particularly wrong with cities, I said, but there's a lot more right for some of us about small towns and rural life. This morning I got an even better answer, but he probably has no way of appreciating it either.

Our little blue-green ellipsoid is just a dot way the heck out in space, and this morning, one infinitesimal speck on this dot, this amazing assemblage known as Me, looked up and noticed something in the sky. We were passing in the night, Orion and I. And I, among a handful of humans on the entire planet, noticed and was moved by the experience.

Wow. Wow and amen.


Blogger mikefrog said...

Hello from another member of the "amazed at the world" club. Vicki and I went for a walk this morning and stared like geeks at a walking stick and catapillar scurrying across the sidewalk. Who needs cable (I do, college football) when there's always a show on outside.
Mike Walker

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are constantly a great big WOW for me. I'm reading this at 5:30 am - can't wait to throw on clothes and run outside with my Coco dog to enjoy the glory.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Linnea Johnson said...

Great way to start the morning --looking at Orion --or reading KC's blog!
I'm in love with the other end of the morning sky --the night sky-- and spent most September nights looking up into the sky over the far reaches of coastal Maine where I was vacationing. When I finally went inside and went to bed, I must have been twinkling and blazing myself.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is awesome stuff. KC not only gets you to think, she makes you cry with her eloquence.

1:23 PM  

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