I've been musing on the fleeting beauty of the morning glories and day lilies in my garden -- each bloom in flower for less than a day, but more blooms there the next day, sometimes in rain and sometimes in sunlight. This passage from Discernment, a book gathered from writings by Henri Nouwen, edited by Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird, struck me as fitting well.
"The rain is a sign of God's blessing," said Abbot John Eudes in a talk on a special Sunday during the Eucharist at the Abbey of the Geness, when I was there on retreat years ago. What he said about God in creation gave me a fuller sense of how God is always present.
"The Hebrew word for 'good' and 'blessing' at times means rain," Father John explained. "God is not far from us that we should have to descend to the depths of the sea or ascend to the clouds to find him. God's presence is in the things that are closest to us, things that we touch and feel, that we move and live with day by day. While it is true that God is a hidden presence, we have only to let nature speak to us about the God who is everywhere."
"When I walk into a garden," he continued, "I can embrace the present moment by pondering a single flower. The more beautiful and effervescent the flower, the more elusive and fragile is its life. Beauty by its nature is fragile. Touch it too roughly and it's gone, grasp it too firmly and its petals fall away. It must be held onto lightly and gazed on attentively or it slips away. You cannot analyze it or pull it apart to see what it's made of or how it got there, if you want to experience the flower in the field. So too, are our lives. Concrete yet so elusive.For who can fully analyze our lives or understand their many ways? But we can taste and feel them in the moment and refuse to pull them apart like the petals of a flower." Father John Eudes was expressing what Julian of Norwich and others knew: that "everything has being through the love of God." Be it a small flower or a hazelnut or any other created thing, something of God can be found in it. p. 57
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"