“Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams”
by Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2015
Note: The first version of this essay was first published on “Amy’s Adventures Blog, by Amy Bovaird,
April 24, 2015. Thank you, Amy, for inviting me to create a guest blog for you.
You can VISIT me at Amy’s Blog by clicking here:
“For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 ~
Patti and I walked down the old, narrow stone path on an April afternoon in the 1950s. Our pastel plaid dresses fluttered slightly in the soft afternoon breeze. We removed our cotton sweaters, draped them carelessly over our arm for the journey back home. Like most days in April in western Pennsylvania it had been raining in the morning that day. A few hours later, the day took a turn and now it had warmed up significantly since our early morning walk to school. We felt happy because there was not a rain cloud in sight as we took our time walking along our familiar path. Now we meandered at an easy pace in the opposite direction. School was over for the day and there was no reason to walk faster. We walked a short distance and then we were standing beside a large field. The aroma coming from the thick blanket of woods violets slowed us down even more as we scanned the field. In a moment, without speaking to each other, we stepped lightly between the moistened deep green leaves that flourished in thick patches of weeds and flowers. We were absorbed at the moment, bent over the deep blue-violet blossoms and reached out to gather some dainty flowers. One by one, we snapped the fragile, slender stems of the violets. While we picked our violets with our right hand, we placed each one in the grasp of our left hand. Our bear arms were hot as the late afternoon sunshine turned our pale skin bright pink. When our left had could hold no more violets, we stepped away from the field and continued our walk home where our Mother was waiting for us to return we came into the 1920s frame house through the back door with our fists full of violets, she was delighted with our small gifts. She went to her cupboard, got out two small glass jelly jars and put the bouquets in water to keep them fresh. Our floral gifts remained on the windowsill in our kitchen.
This year I set my intentions on observing small details in nature. The landscape is changing continuously.
I see crystal drops of dew on tender new leaves in the meadow. They are sprinkled with transparent silvery diamonds. Another turn, and I am walking beside a field of dewy dark green leaves with little periwinkle flowers peeking through the moisture.
I felt the velvet softness of Sumac branches. I looked at layers of last autumn’s leaves intermingled with shoots of new grass, and budding Hyacinths Along the stone walk, I observed the red stalks of Peony bushes forging upwards through the moist earth. Oh, Yes! It’s Spring!
All these thoughts bring me to think about the beauty I have seen in a kaleidoscope. The word “kaleidoscope” has Greek roots. It means “a form beautiful to see.” I am compelled to ask you…
“When is the last time you have had a kaleidoscope in your hands with one eye focused through the small round window?”
“Do you recall the vivid colors, ever-changing shapes, as you slightly moved your hand around the barrel of the kaleidoscope?”
You give it a small twist and all the shapes fall into new pictures. Hidden fragments inside the instrument create numerous symmetrical, abstract pictures. Envision the world such as you have seen in a kaleidoscope!
Could you describe what you feel as the colors dance and flow over the mirror images inside? And did you know that inside the kaleidoscope are tiny, ordinary objects such as buttons, stones, chips and fragments – every illusion you enjoyed viewing is merely a collection of ordinary little things someone gathered and put inside with mirrors set at 60 degree angles
It has been over six decades since I picked wild violets with my sister in a rural farmer’s field. I realize my faith in God still works in the same way it did when I was a child gathering God’s little presents. Just a small twist takes us to a new landscape.
Big things make headline news, are celebrated and sought after. There is no mention of the ache we have in our inner being and the feeling that something is just not right. Oh, I know that yearning that whispers from deep inside my body. Could it be that once again I have walked on that familiar pathway that led me to places where I was not called by God to be? There is always a sense of discomfort and painful stumbling blocks to be experienced when we are outside of his will or his calling, for our life. Fortunately, we can turn around, retrace our steps back to where we need to be and get our direction going once again. That is the good news – we can change direction!
Sitting in silence, being calm, listening for God’s still, small voice takes us to his glory. Small treasures surround us When I sit down and spend time alone with him, in silence, I experience transformation. I turn another bend, there is a shift in perspective, and those little gifts are reflected by the mirrored light of his countenance. I am transformed yet again, by small gifts.
God works just like that!
The longer we look at him, the more our faith grows. Each turn we take towards him opens up a new landscape that shows us insight into his character. I approach quietly. Slowly, I realized the rain has stopped. I tilted my head towards the sky, listened for the songs of the circling birds as they hover above the tall trees; it is happening again. Something new. My feet are damp from the spring shower. Just another small turn of the kaleidoscope – yes! I can see it now.
Copyright, 2015. Lynda McKinney Lambert. May 9, 2015. All rights reserved.
Written for publication by Amy Bovaird. April 24, 2015. With much gratitude for the kind invitation to write for Amy’s Adventures Blog. Thank you!