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See the World in a Puddle of Pond Water

And heaven in you.

Two children in pompom hats and jackets look at pond wter
Grandchildren visit Evergreen and look at a puddle of pond water.

Grandchildren come to Evergreen, and we look at a puddle of pond water.

Do you remember the first time you looked through a microscope at pond water and got the fright of your life? You could hardly believe your eyes as wriggling life forms, usually invisible, were suddenly revealed to you. That single drop of water was packed with fully formed wriggling creatures with tiny throbbing hearts and simple but effective methods of propulsion. In the instant of you viewing these things, your concept of the world changed.

Suddenly, things were more than they seemed.

It brings to life those lines by William Blake in the poem, Auguries of Innocence:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Your body looks solid, but according to the latest scientific findings, it’s composed of 30 trillion cells, each of them bustling about minding their own business of emerging, doing, and dying, while you walk around oblivious. If you had a microscope in your pocket powerful enough to show you what was going on at your cellular level, you’d get another fright of your life. You’d feel faint and need to sit down on the nearest chair to recover.

Your body is amazing. As amazing as a puddle of pond water seen under a microscope. You are a life form teeming with other life forms.

Find a chair. Sit on it. And think about how amazing you are for a few minutes.

The next two lines of Blake’s poem continue to point to another way of “seeing” the world we take for granted:

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

Keep sitting on that chair and, for a few more minutes, feel what those lines mean. Hold your palm out and hold infinity in it. Dwell in eternity while you sit there for an hour – or ten minutes if that’s all you can spare.

When my grandchildren are a bit older, I’m going to read them those iridescent poetic lines. I hope those words fill them with as much amazement and joy as they found in a puddle of pond water.

See the world in a puddle of pond water.

And heaven in you.

With love, Marlane

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