As My Eyes Sweep Across the Fields

Why does it take almost eighty years to notice how many shades of green there are in the spring time? As my eyes sweep across the fields and the woods in the distance on my early morning drive to town for the newspaper I see a palette, the palest of greens – almost pastel yellow – and around the border in the leafing trees darker shades of green,  each quite distinct. The fields themselves, in the early morning, almost seem to emit a gentle green-yellow across the expanse. Why had I never noticed?

Something wonderful does happen with an accumulation of years: a new capacity to see, to notice, to wonder.

Time does become more precious and so does each experience somehow, even the most common. Experiences that have occurred many times, hundreds, thousands of times in the past, suddenly burst with loveliness: familiar music, for instance, sunsets, a grandchild’s sweet innocence, the fragile sweet odor of lilacs, a beloved’s touch, the first taste of coffee and an orange in the morning.

We are created for praise, someone said, and the catechism of my church proposes that our chief end in this life is to glorify God and enjoy God forever. I’m grateful that I understand that now.


  1. Barbara Fountain says:

    I love all your writings John.

  2. Katy Sinclair says:

    My father said that green must have been God’s favorite color because He made so many shades of it!

  3. Ann Forshey FRontain says:

    Aye, John. Happy almost 80 to us

  4. bill kearney says:

    So sweet and appropriate. You can always put things in perspective. From your favorite brother-in-law.

  5. Thank you so much. I have kept wrestling with the catechetical line about enjoying God, because I have trouble enjoying things I don’t understand. After losing many wrestling matches, I have retired from that with the lesson that I enjoy what I can learn about. Thank you for being one of several great teachers in my life.

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