“for most this amazing day”



Springtime. I can’t stop watching the vivid green leaves on the big oak out of my office window. The way that they hold light and cast shadow and shake in the wind. Mesmerizing. How fine they are with just that. So matter of fact, those shining green leaves, as if it isn’t an amazing thing that they even exist. That they have that rounded rolling shape and those veins and how they hold tight to the branches. Although I forget to be amazed much of the time.

Yes, it must be time for a little ee cummings poem:


i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes


(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)


how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any–lifted from the no

of all nothing–human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?


(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Speaking of  “I who have died am alive again today”…It’s Easter weekend, and I get VERY excited to sing Handel’s Hallelujah chorus.  Every year at my parents’ church they invite people up on the balcony overlooking the congregation to sing it, and every year I cry it’s so crazy wonderful. I don’t know how everyone up there in the choir isn’t crying—maybe they have developed the capacity to bear such vocal intensity after so many years of doing it. Me, I try not to sob—it’s very hard to follow along with my alto role if I’m in tears. But still, how did anyone ever compose that, something that transcends so much the ordinary and takes you with it?


Maybe that’s what Easter is—an expression of the human yearning to transcend limits. Handel is immortal (Every Easter after we sing the Hallelujah chorus, my mom tells me how Handel was so obsessed while alone in his room writing it, he wouldn’t eat until he had finished). And maybe it’s also about keeping the eyes of our eyes open– I don’t want to forget to see the leaping greenly spirits of trees.