Finding Joy in Creation

Fishpond-Lake-039I recently finished reading Wendell Berry’s latest collection of poems, called Leavings.  Typical of most of Berry’s poem collections, the majority of the entries are tied to the land or Creation.  I enjoy reading this author’s poems and commend them to you.

One of the poems I’d like to share with you.  It has caused me to do a lot of thinking.  It reads:

“Learn by little the desire for all things

which perhaps is not desire at all but undying love

which perhaps is not love at all but gratitude for the being of all things

 which perhaps is not gratitude at all but the maker’s joy in what is made,

the joy in which we come to rest.”

I have to admit I had to read this poem a number of times before it began to make sense to me.  What Berry seems to be saying is that behind all desire, all love, and all gratitude is God’s joy in His Creation and that our joy is made complete when we, too, find our joy there.

In each refrain of “and God saw that it was good” in Genesis 1 we see God’s joy in Creation.  When God speaks to Job he talks about how at Creation “the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy.” (38:7) The Psalmist prayed “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.” (104:31)   It would appear that “in the beginning” God found much joy in His Creation and does to this very day.  The question is, do we?

If God’s Creation is a great source of joy to Him, should it not be for us as well?  I have a feeling that if we did focus more on nature that we would experience what Berry called “the joy in which we come to rest.”  In the process we would experience more gratitude and love.  In the process we would experience the “desires of our heart.”  What do we miss when we separate ourselves from God’s Creation?  A lot!


(The image above was taken at Fishpond Lake in Letcher County, Kentucky.)