Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thoughts at Day's End

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors,
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you;
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,
leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal
as that thing that turns to a star each night and climbs --
leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads) your own life,
timid and standing high and growing, so that,
sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

I captured this magical moment in February during my travels with Bric. It was cold, clear and quiet that late afternoon in a colorful canyon along US 89, just north of Bryce Canyon, UT. It was the reflection of the golden cliff in the water below it that initially caught my eye.

This scene was more than just pretty to me when I stopped to shoot it. It was soul stirringly stunning far beyond its initial visual appeal.

Let's go there: Imagine hearing no other sounds than the faint chatter of the creek as it makes its way through rocks and ice patches along its way to the ocean.

Look up! See that red-tailed hawk gracefully circling overhead? Watch how lazily he's riding the canyon's last waves of warm air for today. He's looking for his supper, I'll bet. But, keep watching ... doesn't it seem like he's just looking at us?

Let's stay here for a while. This moment is already passing quickly away; it will be dark here in another hour. Isn't this peaceful? I'm so glad there's no other traffic.

I think God's here with us, don't you? He's always around, or his angels, but right here, in this exact place and time, can you feel His presence? Be quiet; listen with your heart. Seek Him.

I've been in many beautiful, man-made churches and cathedrals. I've listened to and sung hundreds of comforting hymns. None of that, however, can compare with the solace I find in God's natural beauty on Earth and iu the sky. The peace in the quiet solitude of this canyon makes me feel close to God.

The sun's warmth is leaving us now, so it's time to go. Let's try to always remember this canyon, okay? This moment is something I want to carry with me forever on the rest of my journey.


  1. "Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors..."

    Beautiful. Rilke was a genius.

  2. Now, see! My man RMR! I knew you were quality.

  3. Ahhhh.... yes. There are so many times and places where I've just stood in reverence soaking in the vastness of God. Such special moments. Thanks for sharing this one with us Donna.

  4. Gorgeous and mystical. Love Rilke. Thanks for the invitation to stay and be and pray with you in this sacred place.

  5. How right you are.
    That photo is awesome!!

  6. Beautiful picture and words Donna,
    Apparently not all North Europeans held their feelings inside.
    btw I stumbled on your new blog by following the GSD interest on my profile. I like to see how other people deal with this wonderful breed. I do manage to work him into my other blog... the "nature one," as often as I can. :)


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