Monday, February 7, 2011

While feeling ice crack under my feet

The other day, in the midst of this snowy winter, I found myself walking over ice on my back porch. The ice was cracking under me, and I could feel and hear it with each step. I realized that the sound and the sensation were familiar, and that I had liked them ever since I was a child. And it occurred to me that while ice would crack even if no one was there to witness it, only living beings could find it beautiful.

What would the universe be without us to observe it and admire it? Life is a gift, we often say, and this is part of what is given -- the chance to see all the beauty and wonder of the world. Perhaps in some way our admiring is our own gift in return -- we look on the world and praise it.

Did Someone feel that the universe should be a place whose beauty would not be wasted? I'm feeling inclined to think so. How to explain the suffering of innocents in this same world, I don't know -- perhaps the only universe that could be created was one in which joy and sorry were always intermingled, and perhaps Someone looks at our suffering with compassion and hopes we will find ways to ease it.

Perhaps not. It may all be accident. But what a lucky accident indeed, to have the gift, or opportunity, of life.

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