Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Sunday Morning Reflection

a prairie Sunday

One Sunday Morning – a meditation©

by George Epp

Sunday morning. It’s one of those rare prairie days when a brilliant sun caresses the earth through air so clear that you feel like you just gave your glasses a good cleaning. Every leaf, every blade of grass is in sharp focus here on 5th Street this morning, and it’s a relief to realize that there’s hardly a breath of wind to disturb the tranquility that is, well, Sunday morning of a prairie summer.

I was in a downtown Rosthern store the other day and as I made my purchase, remarked that it was already August 1. The clerk sighed and said, “Yah, summer will soon be gone.” It’s a distinct side of the prairie character, I’m guessing; an inbred pessimism that makes it hard to relish the great food on your plate when your thoughts are on the dismal fact that it will soon be gone and you’ll be left with that overstuffed feeling and absolutely no appetite.

If only every day could be like this day!

But then, life is not only weather, is not just about physical calm and warm, peaceful days between storms, winds and cold. As the sun arose this morning to herald an absolutely splendid morning, life was ending all around us. It’s an unfathomable sorrow for us mortals that things—no matter their splendour—must end, and that far too soon. The day is too soon over; the dinner too quickly eaten. The lilies that were so resplendent in the vase on our dining table two days ago are today wilting in the compost box.

Given these inevitabilities, what are we to make of the gems we hold fleetingly in our hands? For many, it’s become an obsessive resistance: a search for the fountain of youth by which the march to an end can be thwarted. An ad repeated nauseatingly on TV promises to even out the telltale wrinkles that remind us that youth is escaping our grasp. “Do not go gentle into that good night,” Dylan Thomas wrote to a dying father. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Others teach us that there are resources to be had that make it possible to relish each day like this prairie Sunday without lamenting the winter to come. I envy the tranquil people; I want to be like them. While some of us may say that we believe in the goodness of God as being central to the universe—and to those who live in it—others live each day in that reality as if it were knowledge, way beyond faith.

In any case, this morning I look forward to a great day. The sun, the clear air, the quiet seem like a glimpse into a world that is so good that it chokes us up to contemplate it.

The ends of things may wear a death mask, but there is a reality that declares every end a prelude to a sunrise.

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