Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I just got it.

How many times have I sung "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee"?

Dozens and dozens of times.

Yet it was only just now that I got it.

I was sweeping the kitchen floor, and my sister Heather was giving a resounding edition of the song Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee on the piano in the next room. I - loving songs the way I do - couldn't help singing along.

I got to the phrase "hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun of above," and as the words left my lips my voice trailed away and I was lost in dumbfounded thought.

Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee.

It's fall time here - Heather and I had just returned from a walk before this scene took place. We strolled down our quiet road and remarked on the maple trees in our neighbor's yard that are just starting to turn a brilliant red. The sky above us was so blue and so glass. No cloud in sight, to pin that wide expanse back up where it belongs. We could almost reach up and run our fingers down the cold solid wall of blue. ...But at the same was so far away. So distant and mysterious. A brisk wind played with our hair and made leaves jitter across our path. The smell of fall is all around us - even blowing through the open window beside me now.

But I haven't forgotten spring. I haven't forgotten the thrill of new baby plants, or buds on tender branches, or slivers of red between the green folds of tightly shut tulips. And I haven't forgotten what it's like to walk down the sidewalk one morning and see the colors that have finally burst open. The fragrance in the air is like being able to smell joy.

And every flower - every bud - strains with all its might to reach the sun. They grow toward it with every fiber of their being. Our front yard is shady; the sun only touches our flowers beds for a few hours each day. To see those blossoms bathing in the sunlight, basking in the warmth, is to see pure pleasure.

Why did it take so long for me to grasp what I have sung so many times?

Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.

It is beautiful to picture. Can you see it?

P.S. You must go see this clip of flowers opening in time-lapse photography!

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