Sunday, March 13, 2005


The other day we had this great hike in the Marquesa National Forest between Mexico City and Toluca. It was a perfect day; the sky was azure and totally clear; the sun was so bright it made the yellow wildflowers and the clumps of tall alpine grass shine.

As we were walking down towards the road where our car was parked, I looked back up the hill and the beauty stopped me in my tracks. The sun was pouring in the spaces between the tall pines, lighting up the new green grass below.

I thought how a scene like that gives rise to the idea of fairies because you recognize that something is infusing it with a quality beyond the natural reality of the place. There is a beauty, a delight, that you know is unique to that moment; it is transitory, ephemeral. You know that next time you go, or maybe even next time you look, it won’t be there.

Lately I’ve been rereading my journals, looking to glean insights for the future from what God has taught me in the past. Much of what I have written down is passages of Scripture that were particularly meaningful to me at the moment when I wrote it. But as I look at them now it’s like looking up that hill without the strong afternoon light falling on new grass. I see the words but what made them special — the illumination of the Spirit falling on the fresh growth of the moment — isn’t there. It’s just a hill with trees, all well and good, but not magic.

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