“Observe the wonders as they occur around you.  Don’t claim them.  Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.”

— Rumi

For the past three days, our small town has hosted thousands of guests for the annual Street Rod Jamboree.  With more than 2,000 cars on display, their owners alone nearly double our population, and thousands of spectators also arrive to enjoy the colorful cars.  For three days my usually silent walks through the park are replaced by the roar of engines, the smell of oil, and the sound of Fifties music floating in the breeze.  We picnic and entertain our kids and their friends and sip iced tea as the cars flow by in an endless stream of color and noise.

I just love the Monday morning that follows the jamboree.  Once again, as I grab my camera and walk toward the sunrise, I am able to hear the first crow announce, “here she comes” to his friend in their treetop posts around the park.  It’s amazing how silent the park feels on the first Monday after the excitement has ended.  The vendors have packed up and moved on.  The last car has rumbled home, the swarms of spectators no longer wander, eating french fries and funnel cake.  All the dearly-loved possessions that have made up this marvelous display are gone; and what remains are the things that no person can own — the things that belong to us all.

As I watched the morning mist rise above the grass today, I realized how thankful I am for the hubbub and noise that life produces.  It provides such a wonderful contrast when it gives way to silence; and it opens my ears and eyes to the small things that were overshadowed when the noise prevailed.  My eyes were drawn all weekend to the man-made bright colors of thousands of cars.

Today, they take in the subtle artistry that surrounds me every morning — the hazy, white cloud of the mist on the grass, the subtle change from darkness to light that soon sets the sky on fire with the hope of a a new day.

We can paint a beautiful car or create a work of art and call it finished; but we never can capture a moment of the natural world and call it our own.  We must move through the ever-changing canvas that is the backdrop of our lives and look with wonder at the way each new second treats us to another miraculous sight or sound.  We must enjoy the hubbub of man-made excitement and appreciate the creativity that is part of who we are.  And when it has passed through and left us in silence, we must open our ears to the ongoing symphony that shows us something new in each passing moment.