In the soul of the beholder

Since sometime yesterday, I think it was before I got sick, I have had recurring pains in my lower left side. Not the right side, where the appendix is, so that’s something.  It came and went through the night and the workday and on my way home, so it has me a bit worried, even though it is not horribly intense.

But as I sat on the commute bus home and we drove through a mixture of fields and woods, I was struck by the beauty of the land, both in its natural state and where shaped by men. Albeit the two forms are different, they were beautiful and harmonious together. Looking up at the sky, where the sun shone through although most of it was covered with clouds, I enjoyed the light of the sun.  Looking around me, this world was so full of life, and I felt privileged to have lived so long on this planet.

Not that I won’t be happy to stay here longer, mind you.  But even now, I felt gratitude and satisfaction well up inside me, quietly but wondrously. And I thought to myself, certainly this is a good thing, that my soul is able to see beauty.  The world is both dark and light, but not all can see it.  My pain is – for now at least – rather ordinary.  But there are those in prison who sing songs of praise, and there are those in palaces who are driven to madness by envy. The soul certainly has a lot to say.

I realize that this one thing alone is not a guarantee that I go to paradise, but at least it should guarantee that I recognize paradise if I come there!  So that is something.  A little ray of hope.

There is a tradition, which I believe goes all the way back to Dante, that above the entrance to Hell there is a sign: “Abandon hope, ye who enter here.” That seems a reasonable admonition, I have always assumed.  But today I briefly wondered:  What happens if someone fails to comply? Don’t ask me, but it was a strange thought, don’t you think?

3 thoughts on “In the soul of the beholder

  1. That is beautiful. Is your house the red one on the right?

    I wish I had all that hay that they’ve gotten wind-rowed, and that I had it all baled and stacked up here for winter!

    • These are neighbors, or nearly so. My home is not in the picture this time. You don’t have any hay on your farm? I guess the cattle can graze outside all year, so near equator. ^_^ Except the occasional freak weather, I mean.

  2. We have to feed according to the dryness during the summer, which hasn’t been too bad thus far this year. I was coming in from school this afternoon, though, and noticed that the mama cows were looking pretty gaunt. It’s time to start feeding them. (Rocky, the bull, has the genetics to get by almost entirely on very little forage/grazing. He looks GOOD. I can’t believe I bought him for $750. I would not take less than $3000 for him at this point, especially after seeing his calves. They are quite amazingly thick-bodied and stocky.) Of course, we have to feed in the winter, too. There are molasses-based “licks” that have lots of vitamins in them that we sometimes give the cattle if there is lots of dry, low-nutritional-value grass around, and it allows them to flourish even though they’re eating the equivalent of rope. As a matter of fact, there are (or at least were) feedlots where they feed out zillions of cattle, and for a long time they mixed that highly nutritious (and sweet, being molasses-based) liquid on finely shredded plastic chips, which the cows ate. I don’t know if they went through the manure and recycled the chips or not, though! I guess it would save money, but . . . ewwww!

    But, anyway, I very much admire good hay and good hayfields. I have been reading that there is a type of peanut that people in the southern states have been using for their cattle to graze. It comes back, year after year, for somewhere around ten years, has all the nutritional value of alfalfa (which only comes back for maybe three or four years), plus you are fixing nitrogen in the soil since the peanuts are legumes, AND you get peanuts after all is said and done! We need to buy or lease more land, land that is being tilled instead of just pasture. I have many ideas.

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