Rohr: Nature, Cottonwood Clapping

 Rohr: Nature

If you scale chronological history down to the span of one year, with the Big Bang on January 1, then our species, Homo sapiens, doesn’t appear until 11:59 PM on December 31. That means our written Bible and the church appeared in the last nanosecond of December 31. I can’t believe that God had nothing to say until the last nanosecond. Rather, as both Paul and Thomas Aquinas say, God has been revealing God’s love, goodness, and beauty since the very beginning through the natural world of creation. “God looked at everything God had made, and found it very good” (Genesis 1:31). Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation, Richard Rohr’s Daily Mediation

Cottonwood leaf after flight

Cottonwood leaf after flight

We are staying at a favorite hotel by the Mississippi River. We watch the sun give its last hurrah of pink and orange as it sets over the rapidly moving water racing to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. We follow a rare treat of the migration of a super full moon where the moon is closer to the earth and is brighter and larger.  It finally sets over the north shore of the Mississippi River and quickly disappears into a cloud bank at early dawn. There is a gentle breeze blowing the last of the leaves from their trees near the water’s edge. The cottonwood leaves seem to be the last hold outs. As the wind blows their palm shapes, they seem to be clapping, praising their Creator and the spectacle we have seen just before their own last flight.

Nature is telling us something. There is still amazing beauty in the world. Something greater than we can ever imagine fashioned it all. All of nature seems to be giving thanks and honoring their Creator. Dare we consider joining the dance and doing the same?