Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dew Point

The muse taps one on the shoulder at the oddest times. Then again, perhaps the times are not as odd as one might think. Take this morning, for example. It is my usual Sunday wont to meander outdoors to the mailbox, where the newsboy so ungraciously posits the five pounds of newspaper, so full of advertising and features and sometimes-relevant news items that supposedly will report the state of the world we live in, and the future we have to look forward to.

The eyes are usually bleary in the early a.m., struggling to focus in the omnipresent shade of morning shadow. Still, the morning sparkles all around, and the moisture in the grass sprinkles upon ones toes, despite the protection of sandals. And it is at this point that one begins a deeper reflection on the dew that covers the lawn.

Ponder this – from whence does this moisture arrive, and where does it go to when light floods the heavens? The moisture that beads on flowers and leaves and stems and grass comes from thin air, does it not? There is something about the coolness of life that seems to draw these tears of life from the air that we draw into our bodies. So on this morning, I stand there, marveling. My face is drawn downward, to the point where I am kneeling in the grass next to the pink hibiscus bud that is slowly – imperceptibly – spreading its petals, the beadlets of life-giving water beginning their rolling descent to the lips before succumbing to the pull of the earth and falling to nourish the blades of grass below.

This moisture, this dew, scientists and pragmatists will say, was drawn out of the air – condensed, if you will – when the temperature reached a certain level. The dew point, it is called.

But I poeticize that the dew instead is created by a higher power. Now sitting on the grass, my pajama pants wet and clinging to my legs, I study the dew on the flower. How can it be so beautiful a phenomenon that water, the fluid of our life, can appear as if from nothing? And once created, it does not simply lie there unmoving. No, it shimmers, and it reflects everything around it, taking in the colors and the images, and re-releasing them in all their colorful glory back into the world.

It is as if something has been reborn. Oh welcome back into this world, I cry! Take the trees, the grass, the flowers, the rusty toy left outside, the painted south corner of my abode, the brown fence that hides within that little sphere of crystal water sitting there on the lip of the hibiscus petal. Show me what you see! Bring my world back to me in miniature! Gather in the light of the dawning sun!

My friend, the dew drop. My lover, the dew drop. Myself, the dew drop.

My dew drop, and the countless others that blanket my little neighborhood of the world, are hardly noticeable in the general scheme of early Sunday morning. But they are there for me. They nourish my awakening soul on this special day of days.

At some point during the minutes that follow, the golden-blue rays of the sun warm the air about me, heating the sky, and my dew drop begins a basking in the slowing rising temperature of day. As I watch it, mesmerized, it begins to diminish, taking with it the microcosm of my world, which it was appropriated for its very own. Slowly, slowly, it diminishes. And then … it is no more.

Somewhat saddened, I arise and feel the cool breeze wafting upon my damp pajama leggings, evaporating what is left of the morning moisture. But before I can dismay completely, a thunder of thought peals through my consciousness. I pause, and something flashes in my mind.The dew drop. It seems … that dew drop has not disappeared. It suddenly dawns upon me that instead, it has transformed into something greater than a globular reflection of my little world. It has moved on, it has been taken higher, it will be resurrected elsewhere. It will enjoy a renaissance to be enjoyed by another somewhere, and that person and I will share something quite profound.

Because it is Sunday, I begin thinking cosmically and religiously. Could it be that the Master of humankind has purposely talked to me and shown me that flower on this particular day, at this particular time of the morning? Does He have a plan for me? Does the appearance, disappearance, and ultimate reappearance of those water molecules have something to do with that plan?

Because … well, because when you think about it, the water in the dew drop did indeed disappear. But it will reappear – perhaps as a drop of water in a mighty ocean, perhaps as a snowflake – in a tarn, perhaps, or as a tear drop, or as water in a soldier’s canteen – in a cloud perhaps as it wafts over that someone else’s home. Perhaps, just perhaps, it will experience a rebirth again as a drop of dew. Perhaps to be ignored, perhaps to be trod upon, perhaps.

But perhaps, just perhaps, it will be seen by another sleepy man on a lovely Sunday morning, and thought of the way I have thought … this morning.

(I wrote this in August 2005.)

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