This morning the rains doused everything and then moved on. The clouds broke and the early morning sun broke through. Coming low off the horizon it backlit a wet landscape. I looked out and saw the bare and black tree branches dripping with tiny water droplets and in the brilliant sun they appeared as a million diamonds. I was momentarily stunned.
I said to my son-in-law, sitting at the table eating eggs on toast, “Andy, look.” I called to Pam in the kitchen, “Look.”
In the moment I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t just go back to reading the paper, so I looked again at the trees and the serried rows of perfectly spaced gems glinting in the sunlight. I knew this moment mattered, but I didn’t know what to do with it.
How can I save this moment? What does this mean? What should I do about it? I need to make sense of something that is natural and yet paranormal. I should get my phone and take a picture. (I’m a lousy nature photographer.) This is transcendent. (I’m just making this up.)
I went back to the trees, gazing at the wet black boughs. How fast the morning sun rises. Now the angle of light was off. The water droplets went dark. I went back to the paper.
Hours later as I was shaving, I saw the diamonds. The whole scene was there again, as scintillating as the first moment. I didn’t understand it, finally. It didn’t make sense. I did not find its ‘meaning.’ It simply was, and I was simply grateful.
I thought in that pause over the sink, my face covered in white, This is why the mystics say, “Don’t think; just look.”