This is my second blog in a series ("A gift in the world") that I will continue from time to time. My purpose in spotlighting gifts is that I hope we can recognize that these gifts are for all of us and they have the power to bind us in unity if we allow them to. (Look for the first gift in the series, "Children", in my blog list or archive.)
I have climbed a steep bank of a stream to come to the sight of a field of small wild yellow sunflowers at eyelevel -- I was seeing what they were seeing, rays of light dancing above and upon them.
I have sat upon the edge of a cliff, in the cool altitude breeze, the vertical stone face sheering straight down below my legs swinging playfully as I ate my sandwich lunch. I looked down hundreds of feet, perhaps a thousand, and drank in the sight of a green valley with a silver river threading through it -- tiny from my cliff point-of-view.
I have stood as a child in a wide but shallow stream far away from any other human or human-made thing, the banks of the stream higher than my head, dense with green bush, and froze with glorious awe as, with a crack through the bushes louder than thunder, a huge buck (deer) burst through, leaping, and sailed over my head, across the stream to the other side.
I have climbed a waterfall to it's genesis from a cave. And in that cave I crawled through a lightless tunnel no bigger than my body on its and hands and knees. I came to where the tunnel widened into a small room I could sit in, and I felt the wind come through the cave -- not from behind me at the entrance -- but blowing on my face and body from the mysterious and endless and unknown recessess of the mountain the cave came from.
I have climbed trees, hiked paths, climbed rocks and hills and mountains, waded in water, looked up at stars, looked at interesting bugs in the back yard. I live where there is desert. I have visited lakes and forests. I have been rained on, snowed on, been burned by the sun, and been nearly blown away by the wind.
I long to spend weeks in the Norwegian fjords, to experience the intensity of the Amazon river, to be scorched and thirsty in the harsh, rocky beauty near Jerusalem. I long to find quiet nooks of nature celebrating secretly everywhere and anywhere all over the world. I long to climb the mountain near Shiraz and look down over that ancient city from the top of that mountain. I want to know what the sky and the earth might say to me from that place.
We are wealthy. All of us together.