A Trivial Thing Illuminated







A sudden light transfigures a trivial thing,
a weather-vane, a wind-mill, a winnowing flail,
the dust in the barn door; a moment,
– -and the thing has vanished, because it was pure effect;
but it leaves a relish behind it,
a longing that the accident may happen again.

~Walter Pater from “The Renaissance”








The accident of light does happen, again and again, but only when I least expect it.  I need to be ready; in a blink, it can be gone.  Yet in that moment, everything is changed and transformed forever.

The thing itself, trivial and transient, becomes something other, merely because of how it is illuminated.

As am I, trivial and transient: lit from outside myself, transfigured by a love and sacrifice that I can never expect or deserve. I need to be ready for it.







3 thoughts on “A Trivial Thing Illuminated

  1. I have a confession. I look at the photos, scroll past the quotes, and scurry along to find your words at the end. It is never disappointing, but today is especially perfect.


  2. I was noticing the same “thing” this morning driving on Mitchell Ave, Blaine, the the trees that line the street are at that most beautiful, though cloudy and rainy, illuminated from within….


  3. We humans cannot live without light – spiritual, emotional, physical. I truly believe that the Light of God’s Spirit is what keeps us transformed and protected — from within our invisible but forever-present soul. That same Light may also become spiritually visible to others as it is illumined as a beacon, a ‘homing device,’ for those who are ‘seeking,’ those who have temporarily lost their way and cannot find the path back to The Source and, ultimately back to our true Home that He has prepared for us.

    The first photo here of the tree – the faithful sentinel, framed by that striking patch of heavenly light, evokes for me such a presence – a gifted beacon.


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