The Old Testament book of Micah answers the question of why we are here with another:
“What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly,
and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
We are here to abet creation and to witness it,
to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed.
Together we notice not only each mountain shadow
and each stone on the beach
but we notice each other’s beautiful face
and complex nature
so that creation need not play to an empty house.
~Annie Dillard from Life Magazine’s “The Meaning of Life”
I started out a noticer,
a child who crawled on the ground
to follow winding ant trails from their hills,
then watched nests bloom with birds,
and sat still as a lizard sunning himself on a rock.
Next I was a student researcher of great apes,
following wild chimpanzees deep into an exotic forest
to observe their life in a community so much like our own.
Then came a profession and parenting and daughtering,
with mounting responsibilities and worries and cares,
and I stopped noticing any more,
too much inside the drama
to witness it from outside.
Creation played to an empty house
and the empty house was me.
I’ve returned to noticing again~
buying my ticket, finding my seat,
smiling and nodding
hooting and hollering
begging for an encore.
It’s a non-stop show of the miraculous
where I’m less a player of parts
transformed to an appreciative audience
preparing to write a great review.
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