Sometimes the most beautiful temple or cathedral is not something built by hands.

I can’t remember what year it was, but must have been about 20 years back.  I was a working as a counselor at a summer camp and I was miserable.  The previous year I had held the same job and it had been a wonderful experience.  How much difference one year can make!

I remember that we had a late night staff meeting for all the senior staff to try to iron out some of the inter-personal difficulties that were causing more than a few harsh disagreements (to put it politely) between various members of the staff.  The meeting came to an end and most of the staff headed back to their cabins…I think most feeling rather defeated.  One of the other counselors and I decided to make a pit stop in the kitchen to get a snack or drink of water.

When we emerged from the kitchen, it didn’t take long before the two of us noticed the northern lights.  I’ve seen the aurora borealis many times before and many times since, but never like that night.  At the latitude where I reside, the lights are usually a slowly undulating curtain of varying shades of green, but that night they were dancing much more vigorously than usual.  At one point, it seemed that the curtain all rushed together to one focal point and climaxed in a swirling mixture of every colour imaginable.

My friend and I had no words to describe our feelings that night, we had shared an experience of absolute wonder.  We had no words, but when the show finally came to an end, we were both left with the feeling that God had spoken to us and said, “I am here.”

Our problems suddenly seemed so petty and insignificant, because Almighty God had shown us a glimpse of his majesty.  I don’t remember for sure, but it seems that the rest of the summer was much more enjoyable.

© Sally - My Beautiful Things

PHOTO © Sally – My Beautiful Things

Is it any wonder that Jesus said,  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” (Mt.6:28-29).  My worries that summer may not have been about clothes, but they were still pointless when I was reminded of who I am in relationship to God

night-time sky

filled with swirling colour

cathedral of light


shared with Ligo Haibun and Haibun Thinking

4 thoughts on “Cathedral

  1. You built that up very well – what a difference a year makes, and what an excellent, heartfelt message and conclusion. Scientists may attempt to rationalise, but who could deny the timely magical moment you experienced? And even more to the point, what better illustration, not literally, could you receive about the importance of matters, and the sheer importance of beauty, enabling you to draw the conclusions you did – literally as well, of course. Your haibun gave a beautiful message, through concrete experience. Thanks.

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