Like a Child

Milky Way, by Felix Mittermeier, Pixabay

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, this is what you were pleased to do.” Matthew 11:25-26

A course in Science was a required credit for an English BA, and I dreaded the college term ahead.  In high school science labs had been a frustrating experience.  Whether the fault was inattention to detailed instructions or just the normal Murphy’s Law tendency of my universe, there was seldom the predicted outcomes.  So, when I had a choice to complete the requirement by correspondence, it seemed serendipitous.

To my surprise, science proved to be far more interesting than I’d remembered, and another way to cross-pollinate truths of nature with the metaphysical, to see on earth what had been designed by heaven.  I’d always loved the Romantic poets’ appreciation of the natural world around them.  As a child I wandered around bulrush-fringed ponds, through small copses of woods with Jack-in-the-Pulpits, and ditches with their prickly burrs, Queen Anne’s lace and downy milk pods, savouring the berries that grew profligate in the fence rows.

So I linger still, sometimes, on the edges of science, the most recently in a library course on Philosophy and Physics, much of which I can barely comprehend, trying to glean a new way of viewing things.  Quantum physics, for example, implies a very weird world where choices are super-posed until actualized by an observer, Schrodinger’s cat both alive and dead.  I’m comforted in this incomprehension by the number of times the professor acknowledges ignorance as well . . . “Dunno.”  “I dunno.”  “We dunno.”    For every proposed theory there seems to be counter viewpoints.  It gets tiring, like watching a dog chase its tail.

So I’m grateful that God, in his wisdom, told the Creation story in language that is elegant and poetic in its simplicity.  We don’t have to know how everything works to experience peace and joy in our surroundings.  There is a time to intellectually pursue things, and a time to just be transfixed in awe, like a child.

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me
When I was shown the charts and diagrams,
to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer when he lectured
with much applause in the lecture room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night air, and from time to time,
Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.”

Walt Whitman