I Wonder How …

I wonder how long this took, how the tree was able to find the light provided. Now even animals nest in the small grotto that is formed behind the tree, a cleft that is home to some.

Often when hiking I step upon granite, limestone, and shale in my climbs. Oftentimes lichens carpet the rocks and stones in deep green moss that reminds me of the color of a billiard table. Green atop gray. Here an oak and stone lean upon one another. I love this spot. I pass it often on my way to the creeks that merge below. Game trails pass around the area, too. If you pause, you can hear the waters run below.

This time when I paused, I don’t know how I would have improved upon the display. Most of the leaves had fallen from the hardwoods by now; white birds migrating south honked in the sky above my head; gray squirrels scampered when I made noise walking (they’d scurry up the oaks, shake their tails in alarm, and bark to each other). I could smell the creeks below; and I knew I’d see whitetails if I would just remain quiet for a while.

I used my smartphone to snap pictures. To attend. To notice. To appreciate. Gratitude seemed the appropriate response to a banquet. It’s almost as if God Himself had said, Taste and see.

5 thoughts on “I Wonder How …

  1. Brother Jon….Because of your love of the outdoors & writing, I’m betting you & Henry David Thoreau would have been fast friends and fellow wanderers. I can just imagine the lively discussions on creation, natural beauty, conservation, and yes …religion….you may of had.
    As I understand it, he believed God was present in all life, but did not acknowledge Jesus, or His roll in God’s salvation plan. Seems strange….do you have any thoughts/insight?

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    • Jim, I am familiar with H.D. Thoreau and his writings; that’s for sure. He put his money where his mouth was, that’s for sure. One of my favorite passages from him is this one: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”
      I hope we would have gotten on well. Reading Walden is worth the effort. As you say, he was not an orthodox Christian, it appears. Most categorize Thoreau as a Transcendentalist. He was a Romantic in the literary sense, emphasizing the role of the imagination, the individual vs. the crowd/system, a believer in what Peter Jones calls Oneism. Thoreau seems to have worshiped the creation instead of the Creator (a la Romans 1). After all, Walden Pond would not confront him over his sin, but God did and does. Thank you for reading the posts and responding. Press on, brother Jim.

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  2. Jon …..Thanks for your response on Thoreau….interesting man. He is described as a transcendentalist….or….a spiritual man. I don’t know? Are you “spiritual” if you don’t know Jesus? If you are not a student of the Bible, the revelation of of GOD (who is spirit), Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Is he simply a NATURALIST., a man who shunned society and loved the creation? I may be all wet, but I have always related SPIRITUALITY with an abiding love of GOD’s WORD.

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    • Understood. Kind of like another conversation we had, I believe it is crucial to define terms as the first step. What is “spiritual”? What is transcendentalism? What do these terms mean? What do they not mean? So I take your point. Precise defining of terms is essential, necessary, and intellectually demanded if truth is the goal. Plus, and this complicates matters more, of course, but we need to fight the urge to impose contemporary terms upon men who lived centuries before us. They were men of their time; we are men of ours. Some overarching terms can be applied descriptively, but we should remain humble when judging their motives, hearts, etc. and read their own works and still learn from them (Thoreau and others). He was not, after all, a theologian. He was a writer of his own time who grappled with the dominant worldviews of his day.

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  3. Ah..yes! Great lesson Brother Jon. Define the terms , be humble, view through the lens of the world views of their times.
    On Thoreau, we Don’t know his heart. ….learn from his passions & don’t judge!
    See you Sunday….for sure! JimJim

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