I began to write this last week. Back when the cold was at my toes and the ice would be on my nose if I was outside too long. Back when one of my students honked at me around 7:15 Thursday morning as I was taking a picture on the side of the road. She’s a good driver and only honked. I’m glad I didn’t distract her out there and she careen into me. After all, I was just taking a pic of that far frozen field.
I’ve written about this field before. Back in the summer, I wrote a column about the far green of that field. Even though the ice is there in January (it’s just muck now), the halo of orange still hangs there just above the horizon as the green (now frozen) gives way to piney woods.
It is the sight of this field that brings me quiet contentment every weekday morning that rolls. So long as the time is right, and the earth is not wearing its black veil, I am privileged to see the best of my Father’s world.
McGraw said it when he wrote of living where the green grass grows. Babcock said it when he wrote “in the rustling grass I hear Him pass.”
And I write of it when I say I hear His poetry in the wind over the meadow. I feel it as if it were something tangible. I feel it when I roll down my window and slow to as much of a crawl as traffic will allow. I can smell the dirt and nearly feel the touch of dew. The trees move and their inhabitants go about His business.
And the clouds move over, breaking only to let the sunshine in. There are streams somewhere beyond that horizon, further past, on up ahead of what I can see. The green gives way to make room for more wonders. Rivers and mountains lie far beyond. And then a vast blue sea. And beyond more that is green and more that brings me hope. They all tell me the Earth is good.
And I have turned off the radio and I dare not speak because my voice, the voice of a man, pales in its significance to the mastery and beauty of my Father’s world.
So, I move on. Into man’s world. Into the negotiations of the day and the hubris of all our best-laid plans. That world is an ugly one. It is dark and gray and pitiless. It is tiring, and it makes me sad.
I pass the field again, many hours later, but it no longer holds the same promise. The orange glow has left it abandoned. I see the brown now. If the ice is melted, the field is dull and the sun has begun its retreat on the other side.
We’ve all lived our days, dealt with their difficulties, and are left to ponder the point of it all. The hurry. The rat race. The problems. All of it is man’s creation. All of it is man’s world.
But it’s ok. Because we move on to family. On to smiles. On to Our world. We enjoy that time. And I know I get to see the far green (now frozen) field once more a few hours later, but I realize I’m just as happy looking out at that splendor as I am here surrounded by these walls.
Because not only is that My world but so too is it my Father’s World.
And that’s all right by me.
Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association.