A Universe In A Leaf

“Rigel, Betelgeuse, and Orion. There was no finer church, no finer choir, than the stars speaking in silence to the many consumptives silently condemned, a legion upon the dark rooftops… They were there, each one alone in conversation with the stars, mining ephemeral love from cold and distant light.” ― Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale.

“It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon, there’s a couple lying naked in bed reading Encyclopaedia Britannica to each other, and arguing about whether the Andromeda Galaxy is more ‘numinous’ than the Resurrection. Do they know how to have a good time, or don’t they?” ~ Carl Sagan.

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

In an old photo album belonging to my parents, one photo features me as a babe in arms, being held by my mother in the front garden of our home. With a mix of determination and curiosity on my face, I am reaching up to touch the leaf of an overhanging tree – using my infantile senses to timidly explore the touch, texture, shape and colour of this alien item in my young world.

When he found that photo some years later, my father told me that he would forever remember this moment: watching the awe on my face as I reached up to explore the strange and complex new world of something as commonplace as a leaf. Such is the wonderment of babies as they begin to perceive and encounter the universe around them.

May we all spend our lives living that sense of awe.

Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

© 2022 Geoff Allshorn

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