Tag Archives: Creation

Springtime, and trout warm to our invitations

The trout are not golden, of course; nor is the stainless steel sink. Evidently the flash had a transitory misapprehension episode.

Warmer weather (in the 50s), and daylight lasting til nearly 7:30, have replaced our short, cold days. This week my husband and I went fishing at the nearby pond Tuesday and Thursday after dinner. Tuesday, Vic caught two leaping rainbows, each about 10 inches, in less than an hour as dusk was approaching. Thursday, I caught two exuberant 10-inch trout in the same amount of time.

We feel honored that these beautiful fish, a bountiful boon from the Creator of fish and man, would come home with us.

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From Zechariah, on God’s provision for rain and grasses

The temperature rather suddenly skipped the 90s today; in fact, it’s 55°. Rain is falling very hard, and the field grasses and the rain look very beautiful. Providentially, I was reading Zechariah as the summer storm materialized. I went outside during a very brief respite in the rainfall and took these photos. How comforting to see the same provision God has given His people for the same needs, over the past 2,500+ recorded years.

Ask the Lord for rain
In the time of the latter rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds;
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone. 
–Zechariah 10:1 (NKJV)

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A garden is coexistence

P1010859Perhaps God originally placed man in a garden to give him a clue about coexistence. It suddenly occurred to me in my garden outing with Effie this morning, that cats, diverse sorts of plants, and various sorts of birds and bugs apprehend the metaphor quite well, if not perhaps better than many bipeds with complex brains.

P1010836Whether a weed or a wildflower, this flower coexists with planted fruits, flowers, and bugs. It seems noncompetitive and harmless, and we let it live because it’s pretty and we like it.

P1010842Flax and vetch present a beautiful array of coexistence in blue.

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Effie appreciates the shade and jungle cover the flax and vetch offer.

P1010851Effie coexists in quiet harmony with the poppies now budding.

P1010853My husband laid ground cover in some weedy areas, and Effie discovered its utility as a bug  gathering area!

P1010854In the garden, Effie seems to take seriously the awesomeness of the diversity around her.

P1010861Watching, listening, and peaceful. . .and she did not mind a bit, a beetle traversing her tail. Perhaps she simply accepted that it had a mission of its own. But in all honesty, she has never demonstrated an appetite for clown beetles anyway.

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Filed under Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Creation, Effie, Photo Galleries

Sky and earth, 5 AM and beyond

We were up at five this morning, largely because Effie wanted us to be, largely because she was. And this was quite considerate, considering she usually calls for full service at four. Cats have an inherent right to this; they are given pre-emptive jurisdiction over time, everyone’s time. How presumptuous of us anyway, ever to presume ourselves to have a proprietary interest in time as our own.

Cats are not presumptuous. They are like the robin in Charles Spurgeon’s object lesson: the robin doesn’t trouble itself wondering for whom the bread crumbs were placed on the window sill. The robin simply eats the crumbs. Effie wants to play. There are people in the house to play with. The people will simply rise to the occasion and engage her whimsy. Or she is hungry; they will feed her. Going outdoors is limited to dawn-to-dusk hours.

But this morning was so exceptionally rewarding. Effie was happily chewing on my and my husband’s fingers, purring and snuggling. She got up and used her litter box instead of trying to get one of us up to take her out in the dark.

Awake anyway, I bagged the litter ball and took it outside to the trash. The night sky was astoundingly brilliant: Orion shone in the south, the Big Dipper in the north, Jupiter huge in the east, and the luminous full moon, descending in the west. I would have missed this incredible night sky had I not run Effie’s brief nocturnal errand to the patio.

It seems to me, admittedly a cat person, that God both tries us and rewards us so often, and so significantly, by deploying “our” cats.

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Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Photo Galleries

The pleasant field

Front to rear: Crested wheatgrass, yarrow, vetch, Great Basin wild rye

Front to rear: Crested wheatgrass, yarrow, vetch, Great Basin wild rye


An awaited and necessary part for our tractor arrived this week, and my husband had time to mow the Front Point Five, and wait till the weekend to mow the Back Two. (The numbers refer to our modest acreage.)

Our Back Two, abetted by the excellencies of a sunny 69° and no barking dogs, beckoned me to walk its perimeter for a few laps this morning, and I plunged into the shoulder-high Great Basin wild rye field. Quail and meadowlarks, agitated at the surprise invasion of their secure grass shelter, battered the air at near-warp speed. I was sorry to disturb them, but happy to see them. I was thrilled not to see any snakes.

I walked for 35 minutes, with no casualties but a few foxtails lodged in my socks. How could they know they had no hope of germinating in a cotton sock medium?

A field is such an agreeable place in which to situate oneself, and to appreciate the delicacies of Creation.

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Oh, to be so useful. . .

God-appointed bee, making an apple. . .

as this God-appointed bee, making an apple. . .

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Why we don’t like toddler slappers

Man’s first sin was his decision to seize power that was not his; nor did it belong to some syndicate godfather. It belonged to God the Father. As a result, weeds grow, men hate, batter, murder one another; they ingest drugs that destroy the reason that made them men. We wish certain species would die out—starthistles, earwigs, toddler slappers—but they remain with us, for one thing, to remind us of our connection to our heritage: our heritage of original sin and our fall from original grace.

I was thinking about the toddler-slapper incident in this context, trying to understand why the slapper’s conduct was so thoroughly reprehensible, and why it deserves judicial penalties and societal censure. I can’t read the man’s heart, but only assess his alleged actions based on the reports I have read at some internet news sites I consider generally to be fairly competent, notwithstanding their pronounced liberal bias. I’m not going to use the man’s name, because it’s been in the news enough, and because I’m not writing about him personally, but citing the incident in which he was involved as an example.

Very briefly, for my marmot friends just emerging from under their rocks, a flight passenger slapped a two-year-old boy on the face, with his hand, while pronouncing a racial epithet as he instructed the child’s mother to “shut that N. baby up.” The child is the adopted African-American son of two obviously adoring white parents. The boy’s father was not on the flight with his wife and son. The assailant was determined to be inebriated.

As a preliminary matter, I have to confess some personal biases.

First, I consider it very wrong, and possibly criminal, ever to use corporal punishment on a child who is not specifically misbehaving. Crying in pain is not misconduct.  The toddler in this case, according to his mother (whom I regard as necessarily the world authority on his behavior), was experiencing ear pain due to changes in the plane’s altitude and air pressure. If you don’t know how much this can hurt, even without being slapped hard enough to leave a bruise on your face, consider yourself very lucky.

Second, I admit to not wishing to share a planet, much less an airplane cabin, with a hostile drunk.

My take is that all sin re-enacts the original sin of seizing power which is not rightly one’s to seize. The unmanly male passenger in this case seized parental authority to discipline a child who was not his, without permission from the child’s parent who was present, when discipline was not an appropriate remedy under the circumstances. The man failed to act as an adult and endure the sounds of the helpless child’s suffering.

The passenger used inflammatory language of the basest order, as it pejoratively alluded to a trait over which no human has any control. But I think it was more and worse than that.

This is just my scenario. Again, I don’t know this man’s heart. I know a baby crying can be very irritating—but there are things you just don’t get to do about it. To cross the line the way this passenger is alleged to have done, is a power raid.

The unwarranted strike, combined with the epithet, emboldened the passenger with a self-justified right to use force, even though it was not reasonable. The striker’s own magical thinking conferred a fictive power on the word—and on himself. He seized God’s power over the order of creation and re-ordered it his own way. He made himself a higher-order man, and a small, suffering child an “N.” He believed he could treat the N as he pleased. Perhaps the slap, fortified with the word, confirmed his fictive power to reduce the child’s rights, to put him in his place, according to his own sense of order. Maybe to put all “Ns” in their place—but I won’t impute broader motives from the scant evidence I have. The man’s lawyer says his client is not a racist.

I don’t see this as a case about political correctness. I distrust and dislike the growing obsession with political correctness. I see political correctness largely as a power raid, designed to assign entitlement to categories, rather than to individuals. The more we secularize our thinking, the more we need artifices like this to conceal the template of creation and the Law of God. We keep believing in the five-legged donkey when we count its tail as a leg.

The airplane incident is about real individuals, one with a torqued sense of reality, irrationally abusing another who is 1/30th his age, and who is learning all about reality, good and bad, in leaps and bounds, every day. The striker’s alleged action offends the sense of order of all reasonable people.

I really see this as a case of hardening in a pathetic individual who wants control over everything in his midst but his own life. I assume he has the benefits of an expensive education; he was a division head for an aerospace defense contractor. This incident cost him his job, and I think his employer’s response is creditable. When a person’s private thoughts leave a mark on the face of someone else’s child, we rightly just don’t like it.

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corn

God opened flowers before man cut stones. (Victor Hugo, Les Miserables)

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The gratuity of beauty

The lilac tree I pruned a few weeks ago repaid my exertions manifold today by attracting an extravagantly beautiful visitor, a Bullock’s oriole. He alighted and turned to display all of his brilliant orange-gold and black markings and striking white wing patches. When he flew off, I could see the fan of dazzling yellow-gold feathers beneath his tail. Nothing has to be that beautiful. If the oriole’s inspiring visit were not enough, he touched down on my tree when I happened to be looking out the window, once while I was eating breakfast, and again while I was eating lunch. What an incredibly happy reward for nothing I did it all.

My astonishment at the gratuity of beauty is frequently triggered by birds. Their diversity, their flamboyance, their unique abilities, and the sheer charm of their movement, song, and attractiveness declare the glory of God as surely as the night sky. God did not have to make anything beautiful, and yet He did. Not only did He make things beautiful, but He gave us the capacity to perceive their beauty. Not only did He make the world very good, but He made it very beautiful as well. He made things for His glory, and to reveal that glory to us mere creatures who could not make anything at all from nothing, much less anything beautiful.

Not only do birds, to select a particular representative of creation, declare the glory of God, but they declare the goodness of God. They put the lie to the notion of an indifferent creator who zaps a world into existence and abandons it. And they put the lie to the notion of no creator at all. Creation unequivocally affirms a loving Creator. No one with any and all possible benefits of education and imagination can account for Bullock’s orioles and Black-chinned hummingbirds any other way.

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