Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fleeting Wonder

I saw a new creature while kayaking yesterday. I was not feeling very energetic, and almost didn't go, but home school starts next week, and I thought I better get in my beloved kayaking while I was able. So I was creeping along the shore line, when in my peripheral vision I saw a bright green leaf flutter and swirl on the wind. Suddenly I realized it was not a leaf but a Luna Moth! It was quite large, with wings a good 7 inches long. I am not sure I have ever seen a healthy Luna Moth fly before. I saw one once that was dead, with half a wing chewed off. We put it in a box to save since it was so lovely still, and in the middle of the night awoke to a tremendous banging about in the box. The Luna Moth had not been dead, apparently.

The magnificent Luna Moth fluttered into the treetop and I skimmed across the water right beneath it, eager to watch it. However, it was so completely camouflaged, that I could not see it anymore. I was only graced with that one brief glance, and it was gone.

Sometimes that's all we get. Just a taste of wonder, a touch of glory, a moment of beauty. Sometimes we are not even quite aware what delight we have seen before we blink and it is gone. And then we wish we had gazed a little more carefully, a little more appreciatively.

The adult Luna Moth lives only one week, and is mostly active and seen at night. This floors me. Why create something of such exquisite beauty only to have it live for 7 short days, and not even be seen in the full light of day? It is one of the questions I hope I remember to ask God one day. All the weeks it lives as an ugly caterpillar, chowing down voraciously to finally emerge as one of the loveliest creatures on earth...only to flash briefly and then flicker to oblivion. If I had decided not to venture out in my kayak that day, I would not have seen it, that glimpse of ephemeral splendor.

But in a strange way, it gives me hope. If that exquisite Luna Moth brings such brilliance in such a brief few days, perhaps in our many decades on earth, we have the potential to impact much more than we might think. We are both but a tiny thread in the grand skein of eternity, but how much better to be beautiful when the eyes of Heaven pass over us.


Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. (Psalm 144:3, 4 NIV)

-save a dog-

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