Natural theology in the late pandemic

January 14, 2022

At the National Quarry, aka Cob Lake, a mother and daughter
and their dog stop ahead of me—they want him to chase a squirrel,

but not that squirrel. T. passes, once my student, talking into her phone,
maybe to her grown-up daughter, who will soon marry.

And the endless gossip of water and wind. The old Puritans believed,
despite the evidence of squirrels and maples, that only continual anxiety

could ensure salvation. Wherever they are by now, I hope
they’ve found some ease. Some authorities argue that God

needed Jesus to die in agony, and this thought should provide us
with great comfort. OK, I may have misunderstood,

or been too dismayed to report this argument fairly.
Still, the fluffy clouds are one kind of signal, the slanting sun

another, the impatient and inconstant wind the loudest
and brashest and least revealing of them all.