Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Child's Wonder

The child's wonder
At the old moon
Comes back nightly.
She points her finger
To the far silent yellow thing
Shining through the branches
Filtering on the leaves a golden sand,
Crying with her little tongue, "See the moon!"
And in her bed fading to sleep
With babblings of the moon on her little mouth.

- Carl Sandburg

The jet stream over the United States has dipped south and brought a cool spell to the eastern half of the country. On this July morning, I stepped outside and shivered. But it was delightful, all the same.

Every mid-summer, there is a day when I can smell the fall that has not yet arrived. The next season is far off, like a distant cruise ship that wanders before pulling into the bay. Today, the air smells like fall. Tomorrow, we will return to summer again. This harbinger of the season to come reminds me of the transient nature of all things on the earth. We are like the grass, as the Psalms sing, with a glory like the grass. We have our day, and then it is gone.

Nevertheless, at this moment, in this midsummer, the sky is a deep Robin's egg blue and the sun is a golden dandelion that rolls across the sky. The green leaves of the trees bow in the brisk, cool wind. The songbirds hop and skip and chatter their delight. The earth calls to me, Come and play.

So I did.

This morning my husband and I hiked some of the five miles of trails around Carl Sandburg's home in Western North Carolina. This beloved American poet, winner of two Pulizer prizes, moved here and established a small farm in 1945. He was world-famous, and at the height of his influence, at the time. This place was his choice for a sanctuary.

The trails wind around the house and pond in front, through woods filled with pines, oaks, maples, hemlocks, and rhododendron. Behind the house is a little mountain called "Glassy" because the open granite face looks like glass when wet. We hiked up to Glassy, through the woods, and around the pond, until we were as fresh as the morning air and our spirits as light as the golden sun.

Isn't it beautiful? I asked my husband.

Yes, it is, he answered.

We need to eyes of a child to see it all, to drink it in. We need a child's wonder to gaze upon the beauties that appear before us -- at the moon and at the earth and the people on it -- and say amen to them all, and amen to the Love that made them.


  1. I had almost finished a comment on your journal entry, and I was called away. Then, when I came back, the kids had killed the browser. Alas.

    Your writing is so beautiful. It is a shame that not more people read it.

  2. Thank you so much for your encouragement! And for taking the time to read it.


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