A few weeks before Easter, I went to see the cherry blossoms. It was the last day of full bloom before a storm was expected to come, and it seemed as if half the city were there: old people and young, infants in arms, Buddhist monks, Catholic nuns, Americans and people from faraway lands. We were all together, smiling, pointing, enjoying the gift we were given of one perfect day, and beauty that would last only for hours. It was the most innocent thing I had seen in a long time.
What must it have been for Lazarus, for Christ, to rise from the grave? After days of nothing — absolutely nothing — to walk out under the blue sky, to savor the scent of woodsmoke on the air, the faint taste of flowers, to hear the cries of birds and of men. The world must have been newly-baptized to them, all its holiness shining through.
I do not know what it would take to see like that every day, to live in that state of wonder. Most of us cannot sustain it long; we see it in brief glimpses — the curtain rolled back, the Holy of Holies all around us — before the press of cares and the distraction of our minds dulls our mortal senses.
But those glimpses are what we live by. We should be “attentive to [them] as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19)
e.e.cummings wrote it this way:
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)