Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Last week sometime, the spring hatch began. Within a matter of hours, flies arrived in the chicken coop, spiders materialized in the bathroom, fleas invaded the winter coats of our dogs and cats, and mosquitoes came humming off the pond. Most dramatically, three of our hives split and swarmed within minutes of one another--huge buzzing masses of bees, circling gyroscopically over the fava beans, then settling in the nearby oaks and forming thick, protective clusters around their new queens. Before evening, migrating blue birds, goldfinches, and red-shafted flickers had zoomed in for the feast.

When I stopped to think about the event we'd just witnessed, I found myself astonished--first, at the sheer numbers involved, then at the intricate timing and coordination required to make it happen, and finally at the realization that such phenomena are commonplace in the natural world. This daily astonishment at the munificence of God is what inspires Lauds, I think.

"The lands of sunrise and sunset you fill with your joy," sings the Psalmist. "You care for the earth, give it water; you fill it with riches. Your river in heaven brims over to provide its grain. And thus you provide for the earth; you drench its furrows; you level it, soften it with showers, you bless its growth. You crown the year with your goodness. Abundance flows in your steps; in the pastures of the wilderness it flows" (Psalm 64).

My theory is that the simple act of noticing what goes on, even at the level of the insects, irresistibly leads to thanksgiving and praise: Lauds.

1 comment:

Larry B said...

God is wildly exuberant in bringing forth life