MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Blue is the Sky: Why?


Remains of small stone chapel 
on St Cuthbert’s Island, Lindisfarne


Blue is the Sky: Why?
Life sustaining rays of the sun
derive from the vastness of space, a clear white;
then molecules struck in the earth’s gaseous layers
scatter the rainbow spectrum of light.
Short-wavelength blue is scattered most strongly,
giving the sky its dominant hue:
our eyes reinforce this perception by having
receptors fine-tuned to prioritise blue.

Orange and red with their much longer wavelengths
must wait till the sunset or sunrise to glow,
they need deeper layers of air, then they scatter
these glorious hues as the sun travels low.

Life sustaining rays of the Saviour
bring light to the world from the darkness of sin;
whilst blue of the sky and golds of the days’ ends
are gifts of the cosmos created by Him.

Original Comments on day of posting
For the past few days we have been joining in fellowship each morning in the excellent worship and meeting space that has been created in the former URC (United Reform Church) on Holy Island/ Lindisfarne in Northumbria (UK). The former church is now known as The St Cuthbert Centre.  Lindisfarne is the island inhabited in the seventh century by monks from the mission on Iona, another island in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland.  These islands were cradles of Christianity in that century. The two most well-known members of the Lindisfarne Community of that time are St Aidan and St Cuthbert.

Every other morning we used a short order of service which included a responsive thanksgiving; short sentences read by one of us, to which everyone else responded ‘We give thanks’. Although we changed our seats within the circle, on every day that we used the order, I found myself reading the same bidding ‘For the illusion of blue sky. (‘We give thanks’).

Understandably this phrase provoked comment on several  of those occasions and I went away pondering it. There was a sense that it might be encouraging us to think of the science behind the blessing of a blue sky.

In our last couple of days on the island, I began to think of this as an invitation to write a short poem on this theme, for it would be entirely in line with one of the main ideas behind this blog – the weaving together of science and faith. I hope you might enjoy the result and that the poem will resonate with others who have joined in those short services and find their way to this post.

And - thank you Rachel for your ministry in that place. May it bear much fruit.
Another faith and science poem written on Lindisfarne can be found at I Imagine the God who Created the Cosmos.

Science of this poem checked out with the explanation for the blue of the sky on NASA’s website.


Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'