“i who have died am alive again today”
Two giant old cypress trees blew down in a storm last year in this Pacific Grove park, very near the church where we have our Blue Theology Mission Station. A local guy noticed that the stumps looked like breaching whales and suggested the city fund a transformation of dead trees into living art.
The city liked the idea, the Rotary Club helped fund three chainsaw artists and – voila – two humpback whales breaching and leaping in joy.
“i thank you God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which infinite which is yes.”
“leaping greenly spirits of trees” have become a natural infinite yes!
The quote is from the great ee cummings poem, whose next line is “i who have died am alive again today.”
Actually the city hesitated at first, but this park hosts over 100 weddings a year, and some local ministers and caterers I know joined in the chorus; transform what had become a wedding backdrop of destruction into a lively celebration of coastal whale love.
I stopped by this week to see the finished sculpture and met three other groups of folks on the same mission. We all smiled and admired and took pictures for each other.
When we take our church youth groups or adult pilgrims to the Aquarium, as part of our church’s Blue Theology program, we already walk through this park. Now we’ll have a new stop, where we can say a prayer of thanksgiving that whales, who were hunted along our coast for a century almost to extinction, are now safe and protected and thriving.
Hi whales, you who were dead are alive again today. Hi public art, thank you for bringing a smile to my face. Hi love, celebrated in weddings and whales, giving all of us reason to leap for joy. Well done, Pacific Grove.
(“Before” photo – David Royal.)