"Ashley?" Her voice fell softly on the mysteriously breath-taking black glass, rising just above the melodies of the spring peepers and nameless frogs. .."Do you think that world is becoming a more beautiful place?"
Her question landed on my ears with a thud, uneasy and yet equally firm - much like the canoe paddle seated precariously on my bare knees. From the middle of the pond, my mind reeled. The air smelled like summer; the canoe ride proved to be spontaneous. Eating lukewarm chili (because I was too lazy to heat it again) after a long day, she asked if I would be up for a canoeing study break. The question she barely spoke, knowing I might be too tired, but her eyes sparkled with anticipation in a way that I could not ignore. At first I hesitated - and then made the best decision all day...YES.
As we pushed the canoe into the water an eery yet equally enchanting sound danced across the water: a flute! Fully enamored by the scene: a flautist accompanying our night time canoe ride...with our tender winter toes dipped carefully in the cool water, we pushed off into the smooth black glass pond. A little out of practice, my first few strokes sent water droplets onto my shorts. We paddled first towards the wandering flautist, then on towards the geese. (Unfortunately our attempt to say hello just startled them away.) From the center of the pond I wondered what the animals must think of our shimmering buildings on the hill...A symphony of night time creatures filled the air and one by one the stars came out to listen.
Overwhelmed by the weather pretending to be summer, the creatures performing their night-time symphony, my mind's ability to think, the stillness of the water - the vastness of the sky, the beauty of friendship and this world teeming with life ...
"I hope so."
Or conclusively, peel an orange. Do it lovingly - in perfect quarters like little boats, or in staggered exfoliations like a flat map of the round world, or in one long spiral as my grandfather used to do.
Nothing is more likely to become garbage than orange rinds, but as long as anyone looks at it in delight, it stands a million triumphant miles from the trash heap.
That, you know, is why the world exists at all. It remains outside the cosmic garbage of nothingness, not because it is such a solemn necessity that nobody can get rid of it, but because it is the orange peel hung on God's chandelier.
The Supper of the Lamb