“…we are filled with wonderment at the changes we see in the seasons and the weather…” St. Montfort, quoted in my previous post
I’m not sure wonderment is quite what we are filled with most of the time. Complaint might be a better description. Is there any weather condition that doesn’t inspire complaint? If I don’t complain about today’s weather someone else will do it for me.
Some lovely quotes from The Love of Eternal Wisdom, by St. Louis de Montfort.
(from section 33): Apart from considering the different species of angels whose number is well-nigh infinite, and the varied brightness of the stars and the different temperaments of men, we are filled with wonderment at the changes we see in the seasons and the weather, at the variety of instincts in animals, at the different species of plants, at the diversified beauty of the flowers and the different tastes of the fruits.
(from section 34): Eternal Wisdom has revealed these things to the saints, as we learn from their biographies. At times they were so astonished at the beauty, the harmony and the order that God has put into the smallest things, such as a bee, an ant, an ear of corn, a flower, a worm, that they were carried away in rapture and ecstasy.
(from section 35 & 37): If the power and gentleness of eternal Wisdom were so luminously evident in the creation, the beauty and order of the universe, they shone forth far more brilliantly in the creation of man. For man is his supreme masterpiece… We might say that eternal Wisdom made copies, that is shining likenesses of his own intelligence, memory, and will, and infused them into the soul of man so that he might become the living image of the Godhead. In man’s heart he enkindled the fire of the pure love of God…
Interesting that he comments elsewhere (reference now forgotten) that one of the effects of original sin is that we are too easily convinced that goodness is not particularly glorious, and that evil is not particularly awful.
A new visitor came to the feeding station on the balcony yesterday. It was some sort of parakeet, with a plumage that seemed lit from within by golden light, like a leaf with the sun shining through it. It was so perfectly beautiful. It ate very quietly for 20 minutes or so before disappearing. It was very unlike the noisy mob of maroon and green parakeets that frequent the feeder.
When I looked it up it turned out to have the unfortunate name of “Plain Parakeet.” What an atrocity. I’ve renamed it “Glorious Sunlit-Leaf-Green Parakeet”.
That’s my blurry phone photo. Here are some professional photos and information:
I was startled one day to see a tree on a city street in Spain (possibly in Oviedo) that looked just like one of the stylized trees in a medieval miniature. It had been so tightly pruned that it was no more than a few meters high and had pompoms of leaves at the end of short branches. It looked almost exactly like this tree in a depiction of Moses before the Burning Bush. I’d assumed the pom-pom tree was a whimsical invention of the artist. Instead it turned out to be a depiction of a type of pruning.
Many medieval images depict scenes in towns or in gardens – domesticated landscapes. I expected there to be a lot of small, symmetrical trees there, since that’s what trees look like in that context. But what would trees look like when depicted in wilderness settings?
Our flock of tropical fruit-eating birds is very fond of bananas and papayas, but usually spurn any experimental fruits we put out (grapes, apples, oranges). Today, however, a cold and windy storm drove them to eat voraciously, and by 10am they had finished two bananas and were eating even the skins. All we had left in the house were some figs, so we put one out. The banana skin remained more popular than the fig for another half hour, at which point they gave up and dug into the figs, which are now quickly being decimated by the sopping wet tanagers and thrushes.