In the same vein…

I don’t think it is enough appreciated how outdoor a book the Bible is. It is a “hypaethral book” such as Thoreau talked about – a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoor,s and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. This is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine – which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater, and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes. –Wendell Berry
(Christianity and the Survival of Creation)

Interesting, huh? I just happened to reading those Berry essays this afternoon and ran smack into this.



Filed under Contemplations, Nature

6 responses to “In the same vein…

  1. “Tis been years since I read Thoreau or Berry. Mayhap it is the time to reach back and peruse their enlightening pages once again. Sarah, my dear, you have contributed greatly to the overflowing nature of my “To Read” shelf — and it is WONDERFUL!! I have been a “reader” since before I could read. The gene of reading fell all to me in my family — thus I existed as an oddity til I met the public library and the enclave of readers therein … aha! I knew I was not alone on this quest! Blessed you have been born into a reading realm, as have my bookish wee ones. My husband (never a reader for “pleasure”) has even been infected by me, also. What a wonderful thing — to infect the world with literacy! Keep reading … keep sharing … keep inspiring … keep challenging. : )

    p.s. What about those new books we readers beg you to pen? I am eager for a new volume of Sarah’s Thoughts to set upon my shelf.

  2. I really enjoyed your poem the other day Sarah, and the more I think about it the more it amazes me. Here I am sitting on the sette, typing away on here. And yet, just outside my window the stars are shining, the breeze is blowing, its been raining – I am in God’s world – what a thought.

    Inspiring post and poem 🙂 You always get me thinking – so, thankyou for sharing.


  3. Hmmm…. I think I need to read some Wendell Barry… sounds amazingly thought provoking.

    I’ve been on a journey of discovery in the last year or so in realizing just how much of God is revealed in His creation, in the turning of the seasons, the simple growth of seeds into food and so much, much more. But it has been purely secular writings (often very humanistic and new-age) that have pointed me in this direction. I am sometimes dismayed to find that the ungodly sometimes have a better handle on some of the truths of God’s Word than we do (even if they are missing the main message). Thus it is with delightful anticipation that I look forward to reading a Christian author on this subject.

  4. I love that quote! It’s so easy to lose sight of the miraculous in things we think we understand. Thanks so much for sharing this passage. I’ll be searching for more… 🙂

  5. Amy A. in TX.

    I do believe that Mr. Berry has hit right on the mark!
    Each morning after my 2 mile walk with my little dog I sit on my side porch, breathe in the fresh COOL air and enjoy both the Word of God & a GLORIOUS sunrise! :o)
    & yes, He speaks to me, it seems much more clearly on these mornings outside , than inside.
    Thank you for sharing this Sarah. :o)

  6. Fine quote. I do find the Bible to be so outdoors. When it is read outside, light and all that it contains is cast differently, and the soul’s reaction happens in bigger space. I like for the Bible to be unwalled.

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