An Unspeakable Secret
Paradise Is All Around us
Thanksgiving is a season of gratitude, but it is also a season of beauty. We are immersed in beauty but are so often blind to it (better yet, distracted and miss it!) We visit our malls, shop for the latest gadgets, and in our rush forget to open our eyes wide to see the glory around us—the doxa replete in the folk walking by, shared creational life with our four-legged friends, and daily serendipitous surprises that awaken us to laughter.
Thomas Merton who lived in an abbey in rural Kentucky awakened to the dawn’s elegance every day and wrote of its attraction:
Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand. It is wide open. The sword is taken away, but we do not know it: we are off “one to his farm and another to his merchandise.” Lights on. Clocks ticking. Thermostats working. Stoves cooking. Electric shavers filling radios with static. “Wisdom,” cries the dawn deacon, but we do not attend. (Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander).
Perhaps this Thanksgiving we can slow down, open our eyes wide, unstop our ears, and hear the unspeakable secret that paradise lies all around us—to awaken our senses to the riches of God’s gracious gifts and to join the spontaneous praise of the dawn with our own heron’s cry of thank-you.
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