Thursday, December 24, 2009
Here's a grapevine crown trimmed with some of the island's blessings: the hanging lichen called old man's beard that festoons dead trees, eel grass from the shore, sheep's rovings caught in branches, dried grasses, rosehips, spruce cones, and crab shells dropped by sea gulls after they had sucked out their insides. The heavenly host -- that flock of angels Luke talks about --used to wear crowns made out of things like this before the Renaissance artists took over the visuals department. These treasures remind me of Thomas More's Utopia, where money was thought to be worthless and beautiful shells were highly valued. Whether we bother to notice or not, we are always encircled with the most precious and unexpected sorts of blessing, wherever we go. And you never know when an angel will bring you good tidings in curious ways.