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Things Unseen...

I write these words on arriving home from a walk in the rain. It has been raining since early this morning. I sidestep a few earthworms that have tried to escape the saturated ground. I don’t know how my neural pathways actually work but something fired deep in my brain- a memory of something I had repeatedly recited in church. A line from one of the creeds: “…all that is, seen and unseen.”

These wiggly unseen creatures- usually below my feet and invisible and forgotten- are now visible to me: now seen.

I take for granted the unseen.

Apparently, there are 163 billion earthworms, so they outnumber humans by a large factor (I have no idea where this number comes from but it was the answer to a Google question). I learned in my horticulture classes that they are essential to life. In the web of interconnections of organisms, the humble worm is an organic material and nutrient multi-national corporation, with branch offices in every square feet of ground! I don’t know the volume or weight of rich worm compost 163 billion worms can produce in an hour (let alone a day or year), but my hunch is that I would be surprised and impressed. All these active little critters which remain unseen until a rainy day.

I take for granted the unseen.

This leads into another pondering. I am told that my body is a composed of about a trillion invisible and tiny cells. Although, I have seen a few of my blood cells under a powerful microscope at high school, most of my cells will remain unseen. So many of these cells are differentiated and specialized in what they do. They all communicate, collaborate and co-operate to create… well… me. I am a community; not a single object. I am not really an’ I’. I am actually more of an ‘us’.

I take for granted the unseen.

I love the word ‘firmament’. I wish we used it more often. I just like to say it. It sounds cool. I try to use it, when I remember, and use it rather than the conventional word ‘sky’. When I look up at the dark firmament on a new moon night, I see what I think is a vast number of stars, especially out at the cabin and down at the dock on a clear night. It is impressive. I am always humbled. Yet, I only see a small fraction of all the stars that are actually out there within this black firmament (I used that lovely word again.. . okay, no more of it). My eyes are not sensitive enough to see most of them. Even knowing that fact and then straining with all my powers of vision, my sight is simply not receptive enough to see most of these distant suns.

I take for granted the unseen.

A three-fold prayer arises in me: to the holding together of life: • remind me to remember the small creatures when they are busy at living beneath my feet; • remind me to remember that I am a collaborative community and a mysterious ‘us’; • remind me to remember that I see- that I can ever see- a mere fragment of what is.


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