The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
The great privilege of having small children is the opportunity to see the world, ever so briefly, through their quirky, innocent minds. "Bye bye, crayons," the Pie murmurs tenderly as she tucks them into their case; "Here you go, kitty!" she squeals as she offers the cat one of her books. For her, the whole world is alive, sentient, responsive to her every impulse of tenderness and generosity.
Bub, by contrast, approaches the world as a scientist. Objects present themselves to be counted and labeled; as his relational awareness develops, he has begun to delight in counter-factual statements, the inverse of his original pleasure in accuracy. "Does the Pie have four trains?" he asks mischievously, watching my face carefully for an answering twinkle. He knows she has three, clutched affectionately to her chest. The joke never grows old.
It’s easy enough to see the mind of God reflected in the Pie’s loving spirit: she looks at the world as I imagine the Creator must, recognizing in the essence of every object what Gerard Manley Hopkins referred to as "the dearest freshness deep down things." There is no distinction for her between animate and inanimate, natural and manufactured: even the most garish wax crayons borrow their colour from the same spectrum of light as the grass and flowers. Yet in Bub’s mind also I see the stamp of the One who numbers the hairs on every head, not just because He loves us, not just because He is omniscient, but rather for the sheer delight of counting – the thrill of big numbers that all of us sense in childhood before multiplication tables and quadratic equations drum it out of us.
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.