“Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.” A.R. Ammons

I’m reading my favorite poet, A.R. Ammons, and I find this quote on close observation:

“Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.”

It’s so simple and so precious. When I observe closely, I move into curiosity, wonder, and then worship of a God who designed this incredible thing I cannot begin to understand.

It’s late afternoon, and the setting sun beckons me once again to the kitchen window to catch the view. I think of that verb, beckon. How warm and beautiful it is!

Come nearer, come follow. There’s something down this path for you.

I leave the window to venture out back. It’s a warm day; the ice melted enough for me to ride my bike behind my daughter with the puddles splashing and the neighborhood black cat trailing us. Kate noted that the smell of melting snow and the bright sun made her want to run and skip in a dress. Yes. I know just what you mean. 

I go to the backyard to observe, and I see the bright red berries you can only see in winter.


I notice this beautiful bush, and I remember all the seasons of her and what she offers us–the Northern Cardinals nesting in spring with blue spotted eggs; the thick foliage all summer that overtakes the porch and hides the hummingbirds that dart back and forth to the feeder; the bright red flamed leaves of autumn like she’s anointed, burning from within; and now the stark of winter with arms that hold icicles and snowflakes and bright little berries.

It’s wonderful to observe simple, distinct seasonal offerings. I’ve learned so much about my own soul from watching closely the patterns of nature: Every season distinct. Every season has its own offerings. And some things you can only see in certain seasons, like the bright red berries that only reveal themselves in winter. No matter what’s happening in my life, I remember the gifts from God that come only because of certain conditions of growth, abundance, diminishment, and emptiness. And each season is a beckoning from God to come nearer, to follow down the path where I’ll find more and more of Him.


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