The Finger of God

Last week I learned about a child who used his passion for snowflakes to bring us a remarkable gift. He became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal, in 1885. A memorial in his Vermont hometown reads, “For fifty years Wilson Bentley, a simple farmer, developed his technique of micro-photography to reveal to the world the grandeur and mystery of the snowflake – its universal hexagonal shape and its infinite number of lovely designs.”

Also at a young age, John Ruskin, an English critic, learned the art of observation in nature and the appreciation for poetry and literature. He influenced Frederic Edwin Church who practiced luminism, emphasizing light in his paintings of beautiful detailed landscapes. Church eagerly read the works of John Ruskin, who taught young artists that to observe nature closely was to “follow the finger of God”.

I try to remind myself every day to hold onto a sense of wonder. Living in this childlike spirit seems to invite more energy and creativity. The more observant I am of even the tiniest objects, like a snowflake, the more I notice the omnipresent finger of God.

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