Reflection from Joel

Photo by Wallace Bentt on Unsplash

Good morning everyone,

Yesterday I had the honor of participating in the memorial service for HHH resident Peter Cross. Pete’s photography hangs in our chapels. He was someone who loved to walk camera in hand and, as his obituary put it, he had a discerning eye for beauty in the little things. Last summer I shared with him the following passage that I wanted to share with you all today in honor of Pete. This is from Annie Dillard’s book Pilgrim At Tinker Creek:

“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building.  It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.

The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped.  His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air.  Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass.  I just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight.  The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest.  The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them.  The least we can do is try to be there.“

On a few different occasions I shared this passage with Pete during our visits and he absolutely loved it.

Pete’s spiritual practice was centered around “being there.”

May your soul find nourishment in the beauty and grace in the little things today.