Archive for the ‘beautiful’ Category

I told my wife recently that we were going on a trek, an outing.

We did. We hiked out the back door to the edge of the patio concrete, right to where the grass begins, our few square feet of prairie, the very edge of safety, right at that line where civilization ends and wilderness begins and there we sat down on patio furniture.

Just beyond us stood several small trees, orange jubilees. I planted those last year. This is our forest. And nestled in the corner is our lake, a pond about three feet across and eighteen inches deep, with a solar water pump and water feature jostling some duck weed and water lilies. Monet had nothing on us.

And so we sat out back and waited. I knew if we kept our eyes open we might see stuff, maybe something from the order Rodentia, perhaps a capybara, the worlds largest rodent, 100 pounds of flat nosed, wiry haired, webbed foot cuteness.

We didn’t see a Capy, but we saw a chthonic cousin of Capy. Sitting on our lawn furniture, we saw a small black rat, Rattus rattus, scamper up the fence. My wife hates rats. I suggested that maybe the neighbor’s dogs would get it. That pleased her.

But on other recent backyard outings we have also seen some un-ratty lovelies, some yellow and black Anise swallowtail butterflies, orange and white gulf fritillaries, black and orange Monarchs, red dragonflies, tan doves, olive kingbirds, grey and white mockingbirds, a house sparrow with a black bib, a brown towhee and a rufous hummingbird.

Florence Wilson in her new book The Nature Fix writes, “Thanks to a confluence of demographics and technology, we’ve pivoted further away from nature than any generation before us. Science is now bearing out what the Romantics knew to be true.” We need to be outside. We need a connection with nature. We need to see living things inhabiting shared spaces. It helps fix us. It makes us happier.

But I find myself not wanting to romanticize nature too much; it brings what it brings and it isn’t always what we want.

We all have our scary things, our bête noires. At our home we have black widows living in the low stucco screed on the north side of our house. Sometimes they migrate to the lawn furniture. Messy webs where we lounge — yikes! I confess, I have gotten out the can.

My daughter texted me the other day that there was a huge, execrable tarantula hanging out by her back door. She was horrified. She called her husband. They spoke of death in a can. I lobbied for the positive medical possibilities currently being researched regarding tarantula venom. It fell on deaf ears. The gigantesque, we generally like it — think dinosaurs, mountains, redwoods, portions of ice cream — and then most of us don’t, at least not in spiders.

There are other things. Two years ago the fire department, when called upon, fetched a diamondback rattlesnake out of our back yard.

Such is life, snakes and rats, doves and butterflies. We have our biases, but it occurs to me that perhaps the snakes keep the rat population down. And yet I still don’t want to find neither in my backyard.

Lately, I’ve suffered some extreme chronic pain. Rats! Spiders. Snakes. I’ve journeyed to the backyard of my own soul, and I haven’t always liked what I found there — fear, anxiety, anger and tears hiding under my mental lawn furniture. I don’t like it, and I don’t like the drugs that make me stupid headed.

Life is such a mixed bag of goods, much like nature. Here in our home, in our bit of civilization and wilderness, we have experienced the most joyous things in the world, raising two beautiful daughters, and some of the most difficult things in the world, pain, anxiety, depression and loss.

Recently, I often haven’t been able to get out of bed all day because of the severity of my pain. But one evening — getting an hour when the pain let up — I dragged my telescope out into the yard and picked up some beautiful views of Jupiter with its tan cloud bands and its four Galilean moons lined up near it, and also Saturn with its lovely golden ring. Ahhh! It did fix something in me.

Our crazy journeys. Some thinkers want to make philosophical or theological systems out of the good and bad, out of the polarities, the rats and doves, the antitheticals, pain and pleasure, perhaps an aesthetic, a morality, perhaps a life lesson, a pattern of order and disorder.

Currently I don’t. I don’t try to systematized life. I don’t make sense out of the paradoxes. I love the moments of beauty. This morning we did some FaceTiming with my daughter and son-in-law as they opened a box of gifts, beautiful hand-crafted little dresses, rompers, hats and tiny shoes my wife crafted for their little baby girl.

And I grieve the moments of isolation and pain, face down on the bed in my room, shut off by mind-numbing pain from friends and family, unable to take in the wonders of our world, lost in a wilderness I journeyed into unaware of what I might find there — or not.

What to do? I’ll leave it to God with no offense for what has been seen along the way, and no offense for what was not seen, and grateful for the occasional lovelies that flew within range of sight and the moments to enjoy them.

I just finished James Mathiesen’s book Snow Leopard. He trekked deep in to the Himalayas to see the beautiful snow leopard. He didn’t — see it. But the elusive cats probably saw him. He left concluding that some things are best not seen.

We trek. We look. We see. We don’t. We’re watched over by God. It’s life, it’s beautiful, and not so much sometimes, all in the same journey.

Last week a friend gave me a jar with a net over the top, inside were some sticks with leaves, and attached to those were two chrysalises, pointy ends, fat middles, yellow-green. Her neighbors had collected them, to protect them from getting eaten by birds. I was honored to be selected to be a part a butterfly conservation

Yesterday morning my wife noticed that butterflies had magically appeared in the jars — two beautiful, soft yellow sulphers, Phoebis sennae.

They were perfect Pieridae, Cloudless Yellow Sulphurs with spindly little legs, filament like antennas, gorgeous gracile wings, yellow with flecks of red, painted as if sfumato — amazing! I took the jar outside, took off the lid and gently tilted them out.

One — Rosie I’d say— flew immediately, clearly a bon vivant, high in the air and with soigné landed in the top of a banana tree. They always come with names when they come to our grand garden. The other, Amelia, flopped out, and fluttered to the ground. Thinking she wasn’t safe there, I put my finger down to prompt her to move, and she winged up and landed on the back of my hand. For the briefest moment she touched me, she entered my Hieroclesian circle.

Perhaps she was at risk, not ready, needing to find a safe spot to finish drying, and so I — in extremis, my chronic pain hammering my brain — became a temporary safe platform or jump pad and from there she made her way along a bumpy air road to a small redwood trellis that I have built over our backyard pond. There she sat perfectly still, limned in sunlight. Protected. I checked on her later and she was a gone.

They had metamorphosed, transformed, entered the chrysalises as a caterpillars, melted down and reformulated into amazing winged creatures. Metanoia!

Wings, the stuff of wonder, the Cherubim over the ark of the covenant, the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, the great winged Assyrian Lions, fairies, Peter Pan, the Wright brothers first airplanes, Pegasus, flying fish, eagles, doves, butterflies, bees, winged seeds. Spirituality, myth, biology — flight fills our world and animates our dreams.

And as for these yellow sulphurs, I had seen their first flights. They needed no training. Flight had been built in.

Restful is the dove’s roosting coo; calming is good counsel.

Lovely is the young mother at peace; gorgeous is the old man at rest.

Soothing is eye-to-eye; healing is heart-to-heart.

Iridescent is the hummingbird in the sun; dazzling is the truth in public.

Warm-soft are lines of light streaming through shutters; gloriously dual are the classic paradoxes.

Pleasant is the pain-free moment; truth-heavy is every suffering second.

Good is an old building restored; great is an old life repurposed.

Glistening the tree frog; shimmering the fashionista.

Glinting the ancient civilization unearthed; glowing a psyche’s past healed.

Beautiful two young lovers; gorgeous two old ones.

Flickering the falling rain; illuminating a gentle night’s sleep.

Radiant is justice and fairness; refulgent is the alien welcomed into the family.

Amazing the new moon; luminescent the new vision.

Bright the smile of a stranger; glittering the essence of a new idea.

Beaming the divine, carried in a song; luminous the divine — unsummoned.

Today, beset by a disabling and chronic pain, I could hardly get out of bed, hardly walk, but the few times that I could, I made it to the backyard in my pajamas. I made it to sunshine, to blue skies, to flowers — to my lovelies.

I made it to fluttering Swallowtail butterflies, to corolla-sipping, hover-darting hummingbirds, to downy post-nest, fledgling mockingbirds. I watched them taking bugs on my fence top from their continually returning mother.

On one of my very short outdoor excursions, I found our box turtle, Celine Dion, sitting in her water dish. The dish is buried in the beautiful little habitat that we made for her. It includes a whole raft of flowers, rich soil teaming with worms, a gurgling solar powered fountain, a small pond and plenty of shade. There Celine was, in the shade of a blue blooming plumbago, soaking up the algae green water, cooling down, enjoying respite.

I enjoyed her —in an exquisite, brief, recherche moment — but then feckless, pain-wracked and literally pain-crushed, I was forced back inside, there for much of the day, lying in bed, my lovelies, our turtle, my mockers, my coreopsis, our passion vines, nasturtiums, Cape honeysuckles, gulf fritillaries and anise swallowtails just out of pain’s reach.

I thought of Tantalus, a mythological Greek, made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, the tree’s fruit ever eluding his grasp, the water ever receding before he can drink.

We can all identify with Tantalus, that Greek symbol of dilemma, of life’s teasing and tantalizing, something we all face to different degrees in different times of life — something beautiful and satisfying, frustratingly out of reach.

Experience — what a mixed beauty-ugly bio-bag. And in these days, for so many of us, our worldwide pandemic has put so much just out of reach. And worse, it’s taken lives.

Oh life!

Great beauty; great suffering. Great love; great loss. Within reach; just out. Bacchus; Tantalus.

What to do?

Pray that we can survive those Stygian segments of suffering, deprivation and loss.

Offer gratitude to the divine, all his sentient angels, and the vast cloud of witnesses for the existential moments when we blunder-follow into the sun’s warmth, or into the water dish, into a flower’s corolla, those concise cut-a-ways from dullness and torpor when we blink, pause and sip from the languid, liquid loveliness of life.

We all love things that glow — comet NEOWISE now visible in our northern skies, the moon, glitter paths on the water, bright baby eyes, the sun on a yellow flower.

This morning we looked out the back patio door and there were three very slender, usually small mockingbirds running along the top of our backyard fence.

They were babies!

Against the bright blue sky, in the sun, they jumped up on the fence’s stucco support pillars, wings all aflutter. They bopped and bounced with the motions of newbies and neophytes. One saw a bug circling its head, started to make a jump at it, and then thought better of it. Not fast enough yet.

Then wings flashing they followed their mother to a tree nearby.

Bright things.

Later in the morning my wife and I did a special study online on lemurs. Fascinating! The mouse lemurs, so tiny and fluffy and big eyed and big eared. Some of the lemurs exhibit a phenomenon called eye shine.

More bright things.

What is eye shine? Glowing eyes! In eye shine the tapetum lucidum, a layer of tissue in the eyes, reflects light and creates night glow in the eyes. Lying immediately behind the retina, the tapetum lucidum is called a retroreflector. It reflects visible light back through the retina, increasing the light available to the photoreceptors. You may have seen this in cats at night, those two bright yellow glows in the dark.

Gleam, glow, glint, glimmer, sparkle, twinkle, flicker, glitter, glisten, shimmer, flash, dazzle, beam, flare — exciting!

God made a bright world.

Radiance, illumination, luminescence, luminosity, incandescence, phosphorescence, fluorescence — beautiful!

Bright things.

What did you see that was bright today?

Celebrate it!

I ordered flowers for my wife last week. They almost made up for all the demands I have put on her for about — one day, but it was my utmost for the moment considering the limits of the pandemic. While living in extremis, giving what we can is still satisfying.

Almost is often the beautiful and satisfying result of utmost.

I used to workout at the gym. I can’t do that now so I use my stretchy bands at home. It’s an incomplete form of exercise, and yet it still successfully competes with what I did before.

Incomplete can still compete.

I look to God as the foremost beings in the universe, and I pray to him, but I know my prayers aren’t perfect. Too much asking. Not enough gratitude I’d say. I even think sometimes I could even be accused of acedia, spiritual sloth. I can’t seem to pray like I used to, but it’s almost as good.

My almost for His foremost.

I built four stonewalls last year in my gardens. I overdid it. I do that, sometimes, and sometimes the amount of work I do in a day is just right.

Sometimes is more honest than always.

The last couple of months I’ve spent mostly prone. Sick. Yuck. Laid low. Vulnerable. Blinkered. But I did orchestrate new financial arrangements for my family that brought about gains for my wife and I and both of my daughters. I had to work on accepting my limits and find successes where I could.

A partial victory is the satisfying reward given to acceptance.

Yesterday, I almost made the quintessential cup of espresso. I missed because the milk didn’t foam quite right. Great! Shoot!

Almost is a kind of first — and last.

My wife retired from her career as an archivist and a library loan specialist and then the pandemic hit. She had plans to volunteer at the zoo and exercise at the gym, but both of those are put on hold. Loss. Now she shops for groceries in a mask and supports me in the rough patch that I’ve been going through with my body. She makes huge, valiant and heroic efforts to normalize our lives.

Effort is often heroic and exists as a kind of loss steeped in kettle of valiant.

I’ve had careers as a teacher, a writer and a pastor. I was fairly satisfied with those, but careers are always in process and always present new challenges and new decisions to advance new initiatives. The goal never looked like one peak; it was more like making an constinuous approach march to many different high places.

Life is not summiting; it’s trailblazing.

Now I blog. And you my dear reader, you read. Thanks for that. It bonds us. Through this we come to some degree of connected wisdom, but wisdom is always something we practice on the next new challenge, and we often almost get it right. That’s the way it works. It’s kind of like playing a song on the piano and then trying it again, trying to interpret it and put the emotion and meaning it deserves into it. Practicing always invites us to another try.

Almost is a routine part of discipline.

A few weeks ago, before dawn, I took my telescope outside and looked at Jupiter and Saturn. I could see the moons of Jupiter orbiting the great planet, and the gorgeous ring of Saturn almost resolved, but I noted that the telescope was slightly out of alignment and so the mirrors weren’t quite up to the task. I gave it my total effort and so did the scope. I almost saw the fine detail in beautiful things, and as I look back on it I did see something beautiful in the try.

Almost is one of the most beautiful and coveted outcomes of total.

By now you must be getting the point. Almost — it is as common as a potato on a dinner plate. Almost, is good, like strawberries when they are almost but not quite perfectly sweet and not quite deliciously ripe. They are still good, especially if you top them with whipped cream.

Life is full of “almost,” the almost perfect relationship, the almost beautiful garden, the almost but not quite completed persona, and accepting that in one area of the fight can act as a halo effect, giving us contentment in other areas that don’t live up to perfectly perfect. To be satisfied with life — the limits it imposes, the yet unsung song it sings, the way things don’t always work out perfectly, we do well to come to a deep acceptance of an essential and ever-present ingredient of it. We do extremely well to value and love the je ne sais quoi that makes us mature, the hard to accept, the challenge to embrace — the amazing “almost.”


If you like short, pithy, aphoristic expressions of insight, you can find more of my thought-proverbs, aphorisms and epigrams at

Our determinations need constant reorientation. When labels start coming into our heads (loathsome, ugly, loser, winner), we should question them—recognize a label as the insubstantial thing it is, and let it go. It’s not helpful. It’s going to undermine our imaginations. Love something unusual. Kittens and lilies are fine, but maybe try the vulture or the dandelion …”

Debbie Blue

Love the dandelion. I like that. But vultures? I’m still working on the loveliness of vultures. Reorient your “determinations.” That’s sage advice.

Rather than “loser,” lover would be the healthy way to see ourselves. We are not ugly or ordinary or loathsome, even if our bodies or personalities don’t check all the beauty boxes society creates for being “hot” or “smart” or “handsome” or “attractive.”

Where do we get our sense of the beautiful or good looking? In many instances the fictions surrounding our concepts of beauty are crafted by culture. ”Beauty” is put on display by the power elite, by businesses, by media, advertisers, celebrities and influencers. They put “beauty” in front of us to sell things, to win attention, to manipulate public opinion — for gain.

And while there might be some innate sense of beauty based on size, morphology, proportion or symmetry, beauty is deeply subjective and as we commonly say, “in the eye of the beholder.”

An old man says his old wife, “To me you are the most beautiful person in the world “ and she is. A child says to her scruffy cat sitting on her lap, “I love you my cute kitty,” and the kitty is cute — named by love. These have gone beyond societies iron hoops of stigma and laurel.

One generation sees skinny and shiny as beautiful. Ours. Check out the ads. Another sees more flesh as beautiful. Look at the paintings of Rubens. Peter Paul Rubens (1577 -1640) was a seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque painter. He as a proponent of an exuberant Baroque style that emphasized color and sensuality. His nude paintings? Loads of fat! Layers of fat. Opulent, corpulent, rippling folds of fat — puffy knees and massive, bulging butts everywhere! Fleshy folds meant health, wealth, order and stability. A hilly, human landscape was in. Lean flesh and bones were for the poor and sick.

Things have changed. Plump is now déclassé. Or things haven’t changed. Manufactured images still rule our minds. Airbrushed and photoshopped pictures both reflect and rule our tastes. You know you are watching TV these days when everybody on the screen is freakishly beautiful by modern standards, ripped and royal, cartoonishly thin, perfectly plasticish, measuredly boobish and buttish with an amazing amount of thick, glossy hair and perfect skin.

Do this. Don’t buy that, an anemic, reductive, age-limited sense of the beautiful. Name yourself out of love for yourself. See your own worth to yourself and others. Engage in meta-consciousness. See yourself from above.

Here is the deal, a real deal. Be vatic; be self-prophetic. Be retromod. Look back on yourself with modern eyes. You are beautiful in ways that you can see and name. You are all you have ever been or done. Loyalty is beautiful. Servanthood, beautiful. Brave suffering is beautiful. Self-care is beautiful. Pregnant is beautiful. Old age is beautiful. Vultures are beautiful. They eat death, just as Christ eats death. Dandelions are beautiful. They feed bees. The more you know about something or someone often the more beautiful they become to you. Arachnologists think spiders are wonderful, even beautiful. They are.

Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre, a French naturalist, entomologist, and author known for the lively style of his popular books on the lives of insects, is proof in the entomology pudding. I love his love of the tiny creatures, his appetency for Pine Caterpillars, peacock moths and the unsung burying beetles. I love this poet of insects. He once wrote, “What matters in learning is not to be taught, but to wake up.” …

Advice from the trenches: Wake up to unsung beauty. See what others have missed. Move beyond subjective, cultural aesthetics and labels. Be meta-cultural. Run beyond beauty stereotypes. Such thinking is apotropaic. An accurate and affirmative sense of self has the power to avert evil influences, particularly the evils of self-condemnation.

Awake to yourself. Name yourself. Name something of or in yourself beautiful today. Name something that is different beautiful today.

And when a flock of bluebills, pitching pondward, tears the dark silk of heaven in one long rending nose-dive, you catch your breath at the sound, but there is nothing to see except stars.”

So writes Aldo Leopold in his A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There, a beautiful 1949 piece of nature writing. Aldo was an iconic woodsman, ecologist and environmentalist.

Reading his poetic lines you can just see him out in the marsh in the dark — waiting early or late there to hear and to wonder. Leopold is our model, our nature guru, our father forester who reminds us the land is sacred and the creatures sacred too. And we should wait on them.

This morning my wife and I sat in the family room looking out at our small backyard pond. We were waiting. We were waiting for the birds to come. We were waiting for some new migrating spring birds to show.

Sometimes seeing and hearing is all about getting in the right place and waiting, waiting for something to pitch pondward toward you, to tear the silk of heaven in front of you. To see you.

And sure enough, pitching pondward, a flash of color, a bright orange and black, a male, hooded Oriole. He landed on the trellis above the pond, all brilliant yellow-orange and deepest black, dropped aflutter to the water, splashed, and then winged back to the fence, rear end fluffy-wet and clean.

The first Oriole of the season! We felt so honored. And then as if that was not enough avian showboating suddenly brown phoebes were hopping on the ground all puffy and fat. And a white crowned sparrow lit on the stucco walland turned to show off his amazing eye stripes. And then a bit later a rare — to our yard — Rüfüs hummingbird darted into our blue plumbago, hovered over the pond and then in a reddish-brown flash — was gone.

When we planted all yard we planted for birds and butterflies. When we made a small pond, we made it for water lilies and water Hawthorne and duckweed — and birds. Doing so we tipped our hats to Claude Monet, Aldo Leopold, Emily Dickinson, Annie Dillard, Jean-Henri Fabre, John Bartram, God and other favorite environmentalists, poets, botanists and painters. 

What to do?

Build a pond set up a blind, or plant flowers, put out seeds and bread crumbs — and wait more.

The wonders are worth the wait.

Yesterday I went out to the side patio and waited for the sun to pop out from behind a dark cloud. When it did I noticed several things.

I could feel my arms and shoulders and spirit become all warmish, snugly and radiant from the rays falling on my skin. How cozy; how encouraging.

Exposure to sunlight — while we know too much can be harmful — is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm, focused, easeful. Light therapy! Get out; grab some serotonin.

The sun; the warmth, the brightness — I feel very easiated, calmified and soothed by our hydrogen-helium star. It’s not big compared to other stars, nonetheless it contains 99.8% of the total mass in our solar system. That’s a lot of warmth!

Our sun is almost 110 times the diameter of our earth! Over one million Earth’s could be squashed inside the Sun, and yet for me yesterday‘s rays — an eight-minute-journey from sun to me — were gentle and soft and just the right distance away to give me life, and vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol.

Looking, I noted that the sun fell on in front of me and turned the lawn a gorgeous scintillant, bright green, in contrast to the grass left in the shade by the fence. And the shadow art from the flowers along the walk jumped out and became darker on the brown paved walk.

I sat still, gazing at sun and shadow wonders all around. The silver sheen bush at the edge of the house turned into a thousand tiny mirrors, each small, round leaf reflecting lambent, silver light. Taken together the bush was aglitter, glinting, glistening.

I love light. It’s more than warmth. It’s color, all the colors in the spectrum. This morning we woke to a rainbow out our back sliding glass door. A rainbow — a promise of protection — is formed out of light passing through water. It’s gorgeous — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

When the air is full of water after a rainstorm, the droplets act as prisms creating rainbows, colored in hope, reminding us of God’s love for us. Rainbows are circular in shape because the prisms (raindrops) that created them are spherical.

During this time of social isolation, remember to get outside a bit in safe places, in your yard or patio or for a safe walk, especially when the sun is shining.

Go out and see and feel the warmth, the wondrous, winsome solar wealth, the colors, sparkles, and spectaculars in the light. It’s a reminder that life is still warm and bright and that God has created the universe that still has good and love in it.

“They’re really going to like this!” said God when he put a paper-thin, white wrapper on a garlic clove to keep it moist and fresh until use. “It’s a perfect bonne bouche!” he added.

I noticed this perfect thin, white wrapper yesterday when I used a garlic press to squish the yummy, savory garlic spice into my pot of steaming white bean soup. The thin paper was left in the bottom of the press. Amazing!

Gifts, wrapped and placed in containers are everywhere.

God loves us. He gift-wrapped so many things for us.

He must have taken delight in how much we would take delight in wrappers and containers and their contents and how much we would benefit.

Our oranges have thick, pungent bright orange rinds, bananas that perfectly peel-able yellow jacket, apples the shiny red edible skin — all these packing many needed essentials.

Fruits are pouches for essential nutrients — potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid).

In times like these, when fear an uncertainty are high, its helpful to notice the small, safe, protective container-gifts that we have been given. They are everywhere.

Yes, this rock we live on is dangerous, but we have wonderful layers and covers and containers and skins to enjoy today and to be thankful for.

Our own skin, the bag we live in, holds in all our complex organic machinery. The average adult has approximately 21 square feet of skin which weighs 9 pounds and contains more than eleven miles of blood vessels. The average person has about 300 million skin cells.

And we have our white blood cells — also called leukocytes or leucocytes — and they are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders. Yea!

Furthermore, our soft clothing keeps us modest and warm. Our homes with walls and roofs keep us warm and dry and safe. Our cars, and buses and trains and planes carry us safely many miles in their metal skins.

Yes, we get sick, but we often live covered, enclosed, encased, protected lives, and for those who don’t or can’t have such protections, the well-world must take great care and bring them inside and close them in and protect them and keep them safe, the homeless, the refugees the immigrants. This is love, to put a coat over another.

There is more. Earth’s atmosphere, its atmospheric stratification, is commonly divided into five layers. Excluding the exosphere, the four primary layers are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.

These wonderful wrappings enclose our earth, keep in the heat, hold our weather, protect us from the sun. The thin layer of gas called ozone, high up in the atmosphere, filters out ultraviolet radiation.

The Earth’s atmosphere is also good at shielding us from space rocks hurtling towards the planet. Our strong air pressure causes many meteors to break up into small pieces.

The extreme heat generated as the meteoroid passes through the atmosphere causes it to burn up in what we see as streaking flashes of light.

We are protected. Of course, today, as the world is reeling from the execrable coronavirus we may not feel or think of all these protections, but we must to be rational and balance our perspective.

Yes, there is illness. Yes, a large meteor might strike the earth and harm us. Yes, one day the sun will exploded and take out the earth, but yes, yes, yes today we yet experience many wonderful layers of protection surrounding our food, our bodies, our homes, our earth.

“They’re really going to like this — bark, membrane, sheath, dermis, film, carapace, shell, hull, capsule, chamber, package, pocket, packet, pouch!”

Today, steady yourselves, and noticed the protective layers around you — and say to yourself, “I like this.”