Seeing Comets

@carol_mcclain

A lifetime fled without my ever having glimpsed a comet. In 1973 Kahoutec visited our skies when I lived in New York City. With the city’s manmade display of lights, my chances of seeing Kahoutec were non-existent.

Actually, the city had little to do with my ability to witness the comet. I was too dull of seeing to notice.

In 1996 Hyakitake showed up, and my life as a comet aficionado began. At the time, the weather warmed with spring. The night glittered with stars. One evening, I heard Hyakitake was visible. I walked outdoors, looked up, and there she was.

Splendid.

I rushed inside and emailed my daughter. “Did you see Hyakitake? Look north by the Big Dipper.” But college, lights, and youthful living prevented my daughter from ever glimpsing the glory.

That winter, while driving to a Beethoven chamber recital, I heard on the radio that Hale-Bopp was visible thirty degrees above the northwestern horizon. I pulled my car to the side of the road, looked up, and there, like a pearl smudging across the sky sailed Hale-Bopp. Just like that.

There should’ve been a flourish from Beethoven, a flash from the French horn, or at least, a clang of cymbals. There wasn’t. Quietly it blurred, pulsing lightly in the night sky. A comet, rarely seen and splendid, graced my heavens. In one year, after a lifetime of deprivation, I’d seen two.

Beauty grows in the little things. If we count our lives in little things, we have to count our lives blessed. Goldfinches radiate bits of sun at our feeders. The wind kisses our hair and the napes of our necks. Robins play leapfrog with us as we run.

Look. See.

Beauty isn’t in mansions along the oceans or diamonds in a museum. It surrounds us in flawed people, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139.14), in our messy lives, (think of Mary Magdalene and the woman at the well). We see beauty in nature–the scent of the tiny wildflowers spring beauties or the softness of moss or …

Since Hale-Bopp sailed across the sky,  comets like Neowise, and Garradd, and Homes have flown above our heads. To see beauty even in these days of Covid, all we need to do is look.

Borrowed Lives

 

In Borrowed Lives¬†Meredith Jaynes believes God abandoned her. Then Crystal comes into her life. Crippled with Spina Bifida, this waif knows nothing but joy. This is a book of love, family, laughter, and redemption. It glories in the little “comets” of life.

 

6 Comments

  1. Yes, it’s the little things. Little things like a child’s hands folded in prayer as she thanks Jesus for juice and cookies. A maple leaf drifting slowly on its graceful trip to the ground. Wind chimes in the middle of a dark, lonely night. Thanks for the reminder, Carol.

    • Carol says:

      One of my favorites is wildflowers. Until I hiked with my friend Marcia, I had bee unimpressed. She taught me the glory of the flower.

  2. Carol, you have a special gift for discerning the heart of a matter. I was so blessed by your beautiful post. Thank you for writing it!

  3. Tina Nord says:

    That is so Beautifully said! “Beauty is found in the little things. We only have to look and see the comets. ” I canwait o get and read your new book!

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