The Beauty and Brilliance of Nature

Torrential rainfall, stifling heat, spectacular lightning, and a lone rose blooming in the backyard all served to remind me this week of the beauty and brilliance of nature.

One of Robert Frost’s 1915 poems, entitled Rose Pagonias, comes to mind as I reflect upon the variety of spectacular sights, sounds, and smells the Lord has created for us:

A saturated meadow, Sun-shaped and jewel-small, A circle scarcely wider Than the trees around were tall; Where winds were quite excluded, And the air was stifling sweet With the breath of many flowers, -- A temple of the heat.

There we bowed us in the burning, As the sun's right worship is, To pick where none could miss them A thousand orchises; For though the grass was scattered, yet every second spear Seemed tipped with wings of color, That tinged the atmosphere.

We raised a simple prayer Before we left the spot, That in the general mowing That place might be forgot; Or if not all so favored, Obtain such grace of hours, that none should mow the grass there While so confused with flowers.

Alisa Williams is Spirituality Editor for SpectrumMagazine.org.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6864
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Beautiful poem…brings back the sights and smells of a NE summer. Thank-you.

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Thank-you Alisa for this reflection of beauty.

I am wondering that our sensitivity to creation is emblematic of our sensitivity to the Creator.

Trust God.

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Robert Frost wrote of rose pogonias, pink orchids native to northeastern North America, difficult to propagate, easily harmed during haying. Your single rose seems to have borne in you the same protective feelings Frost expresses.

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OK… after several failures… I finally got this picture of Orchidaceae/pogonia/, the Rose Pagonias of Frost’s poem.

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Thanks for that image. Beautiful! Brings Frost’s lively words to life even more!

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i think the beauty and brilliance of nature is a very strong argument in favor of intelligent design…there’s no reason for anything to be beautiful in an evolutionary model…

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Frost’s luscious poems of the beauties of nature were all written after the American public discovered Darwin’s Origin of Species. Painters and photographers, poets and nature writers examined the intricacies of orchids, snails and spider’s webs in order to describe the world opened up by science. Before that, nature was largely seen romantically, as something barely worthy of reflection in itself. Frost cautiously adopted Darwinism but did not surrender his spiritual beliefs in the non-material world. Yet, as a Frost scholar has written, “. . .much of the tension and power of Frost’s poetry derives from his lifelong engagement with implications of science in general and Darwin in particular.” (Robert Faggen, Robert Frost and the Challenge of Darwin, 1997. p.1)

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Orchids are amazing plants; and they grow from the tropics to the arctic. And now that they’ve developed ways of propagating them faster, they are no longer prohibitively expensive. And the varieties are nearly endless. And I don’t know any other plant which produces a flower stalk that blooms for 6 months or so, with each blossom lasting for days or weeks. Getting them to re-bloom can be a challenge, however.

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The object has intrinsic beauty. ‘Beauty’ is an individual emotional response of which no two (or more) persons share alike. Our tastes are cultivated by our exposure to things described by others as ‘beautiful’ so our social environment plays a big part in our ongoing perception of beauty.

That being said, there are many among us which reject the esoteric for the utilitarian: “What is in it for me?” This sentiment seems quite popular in this contemporary culture which ascribes to survival of the fittest.

As Plato observed “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Thus, those which behold the mercy and grace of God in their own lives perceive the beauty of His redemption.

Trust The BEing!

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Orchids, at least the ones at the supermarkets, will bloom again.
One just has to be attentive to the water and temperature that they like.
One of my home health clients, a number of years ago, had one and it would bloom year after year. She had to maintain her home at a particular temperature setting for it to bloom, keep the bloom without falling off.

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I have had great success with orchids…I currently have one that has been blooming for almost 6 months now! I have grown them in colder climates as well as warmer ones. They are very elegant plants :smile:

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Function is what really matters in an evolutionary scenario. Animals and plants aren’t capable of defining what is beautiful and what is not. Peahens may pick the peacock which puts on the best display, but would fail to recognize the beauty of a Painted Bunting.

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So are you suggesting that humans alone have the capacity to imagine they are not evolutionary?

Trust The Process.

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i agree…how anyone can convince him/herself that this type of finely tuned genetic instinct, impervious to every other setting, is fundamentally aleatory boggles the mind…

This is a beautiful summer meditation, Alisa. Jesus said that true worshipers seek the Father in spirit and truth wherever they are (John 4:21-24). A backyard is a fine place to commune with Him.

Paying attention to God with reverence is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 1:7). Thank you for reminding me of this truth.

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Are you suggesting that animals have the capacity to imagine, or that they are self aware and can reason? I suppose an evolutionist might toy with that thought, since they believe we are only evolved pond scum Excessive. - webEd); but the Bible teaches that man is a completely different order of being from any animal.

Excessive? Really? When one analyzes the theory, that’s exactly what they believe. Inorganic primordial soup of some kind got zapped by lightening, and began to reproduce. Was it scum, algae, or what?

(You have applied the broad label of evolutionist to extend all the way back through the concept of abiogenesis. Then you phrase it in a pejorative way. Yes, this is excessive and inappropriate as you have both over applied the term and added a dismissive paint job. Yes, excessive. You really ought to see this better. You cannot seem to help yourself but that doesn’t excuse you. Try to understand instead of trying to justify it. - webEd)