Sometimes the realities of our days include the illness of dear ones, news of sobering setbacks, problems that seem to us unfixable—all of us know these.
But we can use wonder as a prism to break the hard light of each day into what the poet E.E. Cummings called “secret glories.” Cummings said that an ideal “symbol of all art is the prism . . . that we try to break up the white light of objective realism into the secret glories which it contains.”
By breaking the day into moments of awareness, I can find joy in my own yard: in the brilliant red of possumhaw berries, in the delight of a golden-fronted woodpecker at the birdbath.
I find little pieces of serenity on my walks along the creek: in baby-like prints of a raccoon’s paws in the dark soil, in the slant of sunlight on the rough texture of a limestone bluff.
Bald cypress needles crackle under my feet and release their unique fresh scent.
The angled symmetry of turkey feathers lying among leaves reminds me to notice nature’s pattern, and the soughing of a great blue heron winging downstream whispers to me of the earth’s wisdom.
If we take time to notice, “secret glories” refract light to give us new vision and a quiet strength for the rest of the day. They train us in the sense of wonder and provide us with evidence of mystery.
What “secret glories” lie just outside your door? Describe a few of them.
What moments of awareness have surprised you recently? What images will you save from today?