This morning when cleaning some shelves I rediscovered a sea-snail shell, I think it is called a moon shell, round, shining from the constant scouring of the sand and sea. It is a memento of beachcombing during one of our resting times at our San Jose, Oriental Negros, beach. It sits curled up like a tiny kitten in the hollow of my palm. It is such a simple little thing, yet its symmetrical spiral tickles my imagination.
Now it is a tiny piece of infinity with a bit of God-spirit contained in it, a fingerprint left by God, so to speak. Now it is a cat’s eye shining in the night. Now it is the future home of a sand crab or a tiny sea creature. When I hold it up to my ear, I can still hear the faint sounds of the sea waves pulsing within its spirals. Now it reflects the moon it is named after. Its spiral nudges me to expand my thoughts by thinking of how one thing leads to another…
This is the stuff that day dreams are made of … day dreams that lead us to wonder, to think creative thoughts, to help us imagine a better life, to expand the horizons of our mind, to savor this delicate yet strong piece of creation as a blessing from its Creator.
Our capacity to think and imagine is what distinguishes us from the animals. And yet there are many people today just living instinctively like most animals, caught in the same routine day after day after day. They seem frightened to be alone so they surround themselves with people, noise, loud music and activity, ipods and cellphones, and with laptops always surfacing the net. They need to be always doing something, taking multi-tasking to near impossible levels! And when the noise stops, there is no inner music of the day dream to take its place.
Let’s admit this fact: it takes a creative person to survive in this fast-moving world. It takes a person willing to spend time beachcombing, finding treasures, savoring his/her surroundings, appreciating and delighting in what there is. Creativity does not happen overnight. It cannot be dictated or commanded by one’s boss. True creativity comes from God, and it is spurred to greater heights by wonder and the ability to savor the blessing of one’s environment. True creativity occurs when we open our minds and our hearts to the everyday epiphanies that the Spirit places along our way.
Many times it is in the silence of our hearts that we hear the voice of our Creator urging us to day dream and create, to savor our blessings and to wonder about the mystery of the obvious and the inexplicability of the simple. A Chinese philosopher once said that ‘without wonder, understanding is not alive.’
I believe we must not be only passive recipients of the blessings of creation and civilization but active participants involved in the process of caring, nourishing, improving and searching for perfection. The world does NOT owe us a living! We owe the world our best day dreams, creative efforts and ideas.