#10 is here. Read it!
#9 Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Finally! An easy one–I like sunsets and sunrises and I adore the sound of rain on the roof. In fact, it occasionally makes me weepy with joy. (Even more occasionally, it makes me want to go outside and dance around naked. Ahem.) Indeed, these all seem so eminently likeable, I can’t imagine anyone needing to learn to like them. I am a bit of a pagan, deep down, under the veneer of Mormonism and the soul-patina of an Anglican chorister, and it’s easier for me to find my way to the Creator through creation than almost any other way.
Still, I need to be reminded to notice sunrises and sunsets, not be blinded by their dailiness to the wonder of them. We Western modern types tend to notice weather when it is violent, when it batters our architectural and technological defenses until we cannot hang onto the illusion that we are in control of our world. And it isn’t just modern Westerners who like drama in our weather. Read III Nephi, II Kings–we humans are always looking for God in the earthquake and the thunder and the whirlwind. And God is forever pointing instead to quiet things–a seed, the wind that “bloweth where it listeth”, the silent drawing in the dust, the muddy pool at Siloam, the calmed sea and the living water, the sparrow and the lilies of the field.
Why should it be like this? Why is it so hard to remember to look at the world in wonder every day? Why do we need God to be so huge and fierce? Perhaps it is because we are hoping, endlessly, for a different story than the one the heavens are telling, over and over and over again. We want God to catch us up in the rapturous whirlwind because we know, in our bones and in the pit of our stomachs, that the story moves inexorably towards sunset, winter, death. We do not want to know, and so we make endless electric dawn, coal-fired summer warmth, umbrellas to keep the real rain off of us and machines to mimic the sound of false rain we can switch on and off. We beg God to keep us safe from harm and accident as we hurtle about in cars nourished by the carbon-generating deaths of ancient fields of lilies and the bones of our long-ago generations. We forget, endlessly, that the leaves’ autumn glory is their very death, that we chart our courses by stars that died eons before our birth.
And still the sun rises and sets, patiently, teaching us the only thing we need to know: birth is death and resurrection, the nourishing rain and the deathly snow are living water.
(and George Handley!)