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"Earth's crammed with heaven"

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

"Earth's crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned these lines in her 1856 poetic masterpiece, "Aurora Leigh." There is nothing wrong with plucking blackberries in their juicy, dark, sweet deliciousness. I do this each summer with my husband and young daughters in our own backyard. But I aspire to be the kind of human, the kind of disciple, the kind of keen observer and writer, who takes off her shoes when a bush is ablaze with divine glory.

Natural Revelations will be a taking off of my shoes, a conscious choosing to pause, to register exquisite thought and experience, to express wonderment and gratitude: worship. To sit in the presence of beauty and truth and to see how my soul might be enlarged or ennobled by it. Will you join me? It's a turning from the straight utilitarian: "I will pluck this blackberry to derive physical sustenance from it" or "because I can." And choosing to fix the focus upon the sublime, the often ineffable, the transcendent. To derive spiritual sustenance from something as ordinary, as every day, as a blackberry.

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