Landscape photography begins with an appreciation of the world around us and an acute observation of its beauty. Many of us are able to exercise a similar level of attentiveness as we meditate on the wonders of creation - creation, which, we believe, reflects the wisdom of God. As the Psalmist wrote, 'O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all!' (Psalm 104)
I spent last week in the urban landscape of inner-city Sheffield, staying at the Wilson Carlile Centre. At first sight, it's an unlikely place to experience natural beauty. But my room looked out onto a tiny park, and at sunrise one morning, I lingered there - paying particular attention to the sycamore leaves heaped up on the ground, their veins picked out by frost.
Even in the most unlikely places, we can find our minds and souls stretched by created beauty. Attentiveness to what is around us is one of the routes by which God enlarges our hearts. And perhaps even more important is to be attentive to the people around us - people created, as we all are, in the image of God; people in whom we are to seek and serve Jesus Christ.
Wisdom: a Meditation
Sunrise on leaves frost-bitter, white veins thread;
Ice-carpet, green where reverent footsteps tread;
Knife-wound within of chill breath's deathly dread:
With winter's glory, bright where night has fled.
Paschal-fresh rays of primrose-morning throng;
Blossom of apple; blackbird-anthem strong;
Fragile exuberance of growth and tongue:
By life-affirming joy, bright nature's song.
Noonday with ceremonial blooms impressed;
Sentinel-stately trees, soft-shade-caressed;
Dapples on limpid water, peace-possessed:
In vivid contours, with bright-burning blessed.
Sunk sun on mellow harvest-field; night clear;
Perigree moon brings star-flecked cosmos near;
Ecstatic, touch; bright heaven, bright earth hold dear:
Piercing desire with wisdom-wounds sincere.
(c) Christopher Wilson 2014