A sunrise takes you to a place almost outside of time and space. To see a day born is a deeply moving experience, and I have seen few enough to remember most of them, but there have been two on this trip that I think I would remember – even if I drank of the mythological “waters of forgetfulness”
The first was in a field of poppies beneath the medieval walls of Carcassonnne, watching as the sun turned the walls into burnished gold and the poppies unfolded into translucent red silk. The second morning was on the steps of a 10th century church on a hill above the city of Florence. In that quiet and sacred space Janell and I watched the rays light on the Duomo and gradually waken the sleeping city.
Our dean Gregg Finley loves to use the phrase “thin place” to identify those times and places where the gap between heaven and earth is narrowed or closed. I can’t help but think, in the midst of man-made sculpture, painting, and architecture, that the most powerful beauty of all – the kind which creates such “thin places” – is the beauty of the natural world God created. In the midst of which are those moments when He lets us see it in all its glory. At the same time, I have to add that I am becoming more and more amazed as our trip goes on, at how He is so gracious as to share His beauty-making capacity with mankind. I see this gift in the beauty of Michelangelo’s “Pieta” or in the collaboration the Duomo of Florence and the walls of Carcassone with the light of His sun.