Tuesday, January 15, 2008

on open roads and steam in candlelight

Last night I was driving home under a cloudless sky. The highway was almost deserted; a melody drifting through the speakers of my radio. It was an empty road, with the clock winding closer to midnight.

I let the stars out the window to my left catch my eye. My jaw dropped. And it was amazing. I mean, one of the clearest nights, with the most defined constellations, and there I was in the middle of this universe that suddenly seemed larger than life. I almost pulled over, just to get outside my car and look up. The crescent of the moon looked enormous, hung right above the horizon. The illuminated half was so bright and brilliant that you could almost define the edges of the rest. It looked so close.

Larger than life. And I am so small.

On those days when the world seems so all about me, or my issues or problems; on the nights when I feel so comforted or so alone... all of this beauty exists outside of me. It's nights like those that I wonder how someone could think it all happened by accident. How someone could think up the formulas, theories or equations, or believe that by a million chemical accidents, I am here contemplating my own existence. How light exists outside of time, and how when I look up at the stars I am looking back in time.

How could it ever be by chance?

I guess having grown up going to church, I was exposed to Creationism early on. And it's not that I haven't had those doubting periods, or days when evolution and the big bang seem to make sense, or moments that I have wanted to leave the deity of God behind. But more often than not, I am just struck with beauty. With perfection in details. With the Someone Greater that I know had a hand in it.

Tonight it was snowing, and at the same time lightning was making the sky glow (which was a crazy combination I have never witnessed). I took a bath by candlelight, and watched the steam rise into the air. And even that seemed glorious all of a sudden, because I realized that in front of my eyes, steam is rising. And catching the light flickering from my candles.

And people will likely think I'm crazy for thinking it was so amazing. But the deeper people, I hope, will appreciate the magic that is creation. Even if you don't think God did it, it's still so amazing. Mind-boggling. Huge. The fact that leaves crack and wither and fall in the autumn, and that winter holds the ground in silence to be melted by the spring. The fact that the earth is tilted so we can experience seasons. The fact that I can see steam in candlelight. The fact that we will never be able to wrap our minds around exactly how small we are in comparison with everything else.

But we still matter.

I think above all the other magical things, that one is the most beautiful.
That I matter. That my heart and my passions and my goals in life matter. That I am unique and different, and that I am worth dying for. That a bigger hand holds my world in place, and it is steadfast.

And to think I am this amazed by looking up or seeing steam. Life is so great.

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