We like to talk about Miracles as if they deserve to be capitalized. We think of them as reserved for those special moments when our special wish has been fulfilled. If we have experienced something unusual which benefitted us, we like to categorize and describe our happening as a Miracle. Miracles are reserved for the -out of this world- moments and are not meant to be mundane,for where would be the [M]iracle in this?
I have been reading my first book by Thomas Moore entitled “A Religion of One’s Own.” I must admit during the first few pages, I didn’t think we were going to be compatible and I almost put it down. However, I persevered and found a treasure trove inside. I read a little each day and always find something to spark some reflection. This is the way I judge a worthy read, I like to have something to ponder throughout my day.
This morning I was reading his reference to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous Divinity School Address at Harvard in which he (Emerson) was complaining that the Christian churches were making too much of the idea of miracles. He quoted Emerson as saying “The very word Miracle as pronounced by Christian churches gives a false impression; it is a monster; it is not one with the blowing clover and the falling rain.”
Wow! It was one of those moments where I became completely immersed within the energy of that thought. It was the un-realized thought I have been having for so many years now that I can’t count. Actually, I can count it, because it is the thought I was born with, and have continued thinking all my life. It is the knowing that every breath we take is a miracle and there is nothing in this world that is not a miracle. Even the most evil of experiences are a miracle: all of creation is a miracle. We tend to scorn these kind of miracles because they do not fit with our idea of all that is good and right and Holy. We also overlook the mundane miracles as if they are invisible before our very senses and wait for those special moments we can appreciate more fully. They are like those beautiful creations on the dessert tray and we tell ourselves we can only have a few in this lifetime. We do not speak of the “blowing clover and the falling rain” as deserving capital ‘M’ status. I suppose, during times of extreme drought, rain can be given this status but the ordinary summer rain is generally taken for granted. We may give thanks for it but it is not on the elevated status of a Miracle.
We would do well to call these back into our memory again. We would do well to plant our over -worked lawns with sweet blowing clover instead of planting short- rooted, fragile, grasses that require an abundance of fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide and never-ending water supply in order to survive and hopefully, thrive. We would do better to let our children play barefoot in sweet cool clover and risk the occasional bee-sting (if we can still attract any) than run and play and roll in the poisons that alter their basic chemical/hormonal makeup and impact them on many different levels. How many of us remember the feeling of that cool, soft carpet of clover in the hot summertime on burning, bare feet. How many hours did we make necklaces of the flower heads and wear them on top of the head like the crown jewels they were. And, Oh! no perfume can ever match the scent of the clover after it had been mowed with the old push mower. It would linger in the yard for ever,and waft in through the open windows at bedtime. The miracle of clover still lingers today…
And, the rain! Whatever happened to the pure experience of a gentle, playful rainfall? It would cleanse everything and make the world feel and smell, fresh and new. Even the soil would wake up and express itself in fragrance , that wonderful smell of freshly turned earth after a good summer rain. It is something we along with our children and grandchildren should be able to anticipate and rely on, but no more. We now have managed to pollute the rain with the miracle of our industrialized world, the extracting of fossil fuels, the poisons from the factories and refineries that are pulsed regularly into the air, the by-product of chemical breakdowns that invade the atmosphere from the fields laden with the necessary miracles that yield, even more profitable, crops. The rain is now tainted. It is foolish to allow a child to cup their hands and partake of this miracle from the heavens because of the impurities it contains and the potentially harmful effects that may follow. It is not safe to let them make snow ice-cream or eat their own snowballs. Snow has become an oxymoron.
Yes, there are miracles aplenty in this world. We are creators and co-creators with every purchase we make, every meal we create, every bite of food we eat and every breath we take. It seems to me that it is time we took this idea of creation and miracles a little more seriously and realize that all miracles may eventually start with a capital “M” but we might not like the importance contained within. As for myself, I rather like the “small” miracles myself. They seem worthy enough to me.