The Bush

Let’s be philosophical. If springtime in New England doesn’t make you philosophical, what will? We have an azalea in the midst of our driveway circle that sits there nondescriptly for about fifty weeks and then explodes in a show-stopping cloud of pink.

So what good is a bush that sits there for fifty weeks and does its thing for two?

Diogenes Allen has written:

Although beauty fascinates both the eye and mind, it has no utility. We can only contemplate it, allow it to hold our attention and suggest to us some purpose, some finality, some completeness and perfection of immense importance. Yet that meaning, purpose, and perfection is always elusive; The very fact that beauty has no finality can suggest to us that the universe itself has no finality; that its purpose, if it has any, lies beyond it.

We wait and wait for something to feed upon, but beauty gently points us beyond itself and suggests to us that we should go beyond the world for finality. The contemplation of natural beauty, then, is another way we become receptive to the love of God.*

So that’s what that bush is doing out there: reminding us of eternity.

They also serve who only stand and bloom!
*Traces of God in a Frequently Hostile World
Diogenes Allen, 1981.

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