the hope of next month’s beauty

Right now, I’m in the library, and I’m distracted. It’s not senioritis. It’s the rain.

The weather is probably one of the top 5 conversation topics at my school. Current talk of the weather typically involves one’s dissatisfaction with the bleak coldness of the Midwestern winter/spring. It seems we have forgotten 1 crucial thing:

“APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS.”

Perhaps we should hold off our complaining for another 2 weeks, when we’ll see the effects of this month’s rain blossom into vivid colors and rich fragrances. Dreary though it may be to most, this month’s forecast carries the hope of next month’s beauty. Already the grass on campus is significantly greener than it was last week.

This weather makes me think about my  life. Current conditions have been less than favorable. The disappointment of awkward interviews. The fragility of my physical health. The pile-up of papers, projects and presentations. The deaths of loved ones.

As hopelessness threatens to flood over me, I cling to this image that I’m seeing from my study room window: raindrops puncturing the soil. The only way the flower buds will bloom later is to bear the batter of wind and rain now. The Sun is still there, and its rays always return to warm the earth.

Here’s the irony: I do not look forward to walking back to my apartment with an umbrella that only keeps my head dry, yet I cannot wait to venture into the puddles and lightning, because the storm is necessary for the beauty that is to come.

I can already see the flowers.

pale blue dot

Pale Blue Dot

Photo taken in 1990 by NASA upon leaving our solar system, at the request of Mr. Carl Sagan.

What’s the pale blue dot, you ask? 

Why, it’s… us. Planet Earth, reduced to a pixel in a sunbeam.

One way I know I’ve grown from my liberal arts education: walked out of a gen ed class absolutely blown away.

It took only 1.5 hours of Stellar Astronomy to remind me that I am so insignificant. Heck, the entire planet, solar system, galaxy in which we live is so insignificant compared to the rest of the universe. What’s cool is that humans have been able to comprehend a lot about the universe. Even more incredible is that even professional astronomers, scientists who study this stuff for a living, don’t know exactly how many galaxies there are or how a planet is really formed …

The entire universe is shrouded in endless mystery.

We concluded class with a fresh perspective on these words of David:

“O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?”
Psalm 8:1,3-4 ESV