It’s morning. I step outside…and am greeted by warm sun rays and ravishing blue sky. The ground is wet from last night’s rains, and the sun is heating up molecules and atoms in everything around me and in me. This warming is so welcome after days of cool damp Fall. Pine needles on the ground warm up and emanate celestial vapors, which are rising also from fallen leaves, multi-colored flower heads, and the soil itself. My body knows there won’t be many more days like this before Winter, and I bask like a lizard on a warm rock and hold my palms up to the radiance. My blood dances inside me, and everything is perfect, so perfect! Blue sky, green leaves, brown earth, yellow, purple, pink, and red flowers everywhere, so much color for late September, such beauteous radiant colors for my eyes, and such complex perfectly balanced smells for my nose, and sweet music of orthopterans and hymenopterans and avians buzzing and singing for my ears, delicious warm photons for my skin (as I pop a warm ripe cherry tomato in my mouth) and the whole–so much greater than any of its parts–delighting my soul.

I run inside to mom’s house and she’s in the kitchen with several loosely related objects in her hands, obviously multi-tasking early. Her hair is wet from her shower and her feet are bare. “Mom! Have you been outside yet this morning?” “Not yet?” “Ok, Mom take my hand and go slow here over the driveway so you don’t stub your toe, and let’s make our way toward the grass into the sun…” We stand there, in the dirt driveway on a grassy patch, now both of us glowing with light, surrounded by greenery, and we take in the bees going from flower to flower, and all the colors, and the brilliant warmth of the sun, and we celebrate together being alive, and being among natural wonders which smell so good, breathing deeply, and smiling.

Mom shows me some little plants she recently transplanted, and I think about how extraordinary she is. Her life is full and she is a magnet for blessings. She seems to make her own reality, every day, and life smiles upon her, for which I am deeply grateful. I have learned so much from her about enjoying the moment. I learned that from both of my parents. My mom, with her open-hearted embrace of life, and enjoyment of people everywhere, and my dad, with his childlike wonderment about the creation and his insatiable curiosity about everything and everyone (OK admittedly I couldn’t get him excited about House Sparrows–he was a visual person, and was much more likely to respond to a Red Shouldered Hawk), and both of them immensely generous and non-materialistic people.

Both of them believe (well, Dad believed) in god, or a creator, and both of them are (dad was) completely comfortable with their spirituality. My dad liked to say “Look at the universe in all its detail and immensity and structure. How could there not be an intelligence behind that?” My mom doesn’t talk about it much, but she lives as if the creator is smiling and she simply knows it.

I am still learning, every minute of every day. I’ve battled with my own mind about god. On the one hand I think “If there is a god, and he/she/it cares what happens on Earth, then how can god allow children to be raped and tortured?”. On the other hand I think, “Look how many blessings I have been given. I must thank someone invisible!” My wife Cindy believes god needs our help to keep bad things from happening, and I believe she may be right, but here is a question: “Did god create us, or did we create god?”

I can imagine early humans, dealing with immensity, and with the radiant blessing of the Sun without any scientific knowledge about the cosmos. How not to think and believe that some awesome power is making it all happen — the Sun, the stars, the lightning and Moon and thunder and everything growing and changing and providing — life and death, and all of the emotions that come with a living person dying and yet seeming to still be here. I can see early humans coming up with all kinds of explanations which science has now explained differently. There are plenty of mysteries we shall never unravel, but science has shown us that we live in a Solar system, with planets and moons, and that light travels super fast and infinitely. Infinitely? Infinitely?! Maybe there is a God after all (but don’t quote me on that).

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