Friday, May 9, 2014

A world loved into being

Ah, springtime… It’s been a long time coming this year. But finally after many false starts, a warm sunny day arrives; and it is time to de-winterize the summer house.

While my husband works on a broken water line, I skip outside to look for spring.

Wild white and orchid pansies greet me on the front lawn, and my first thought is to delay my husband from taking out the mower. I imagine fairies hiding behind their tiny perfect petals, but more likely a colony of awakening insects inhabits this colorful garden.

Laden with buds, the branches of the maple tree wave to me in the wind. I feel their urgency, the yellow pockets yearning to unfurl against a backdrop of bright blue sky.

In the backyard the carpet of deep green lawn is interrupted by patches of dandelions. I remember the delight of holding tiny bouquets of the bright yellow flowers in my six-year-old hands.

Walking over to the stone wall, I admire the row of daffodils in full bloom. Then I spot a door in a nearby tree. Perhaps wee folk live here.

One of my favorite opening lines in literature is this one:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” wrote J.R.R. Tolkien. … “It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors... The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.”

Tolkien biographer Charles Moseley writes: “Tolkien’s Christian understanding of the nature of the world was fundamental to his thinking and to his major fiction. Neither propaganda nor allegory, at its root lies the Christian model of the world loved into being by a Creator, whose creatures have the free will to turn away from the harmony of that love to seek their own will and desires, rather than seeking to give themselves in love to others. This world is one of cause and consequence, where everything matters, however seemingly insignificant.”

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