I passed under an enormous, ancient oak today. Its leaves, green and brown and yellow, rustled over a well kept lawn by a stately old house, and the grass was very green.

And I thought, “How elegant.”

But I wouldn’t have stopped there, and I wouldn’t have written this, if it wasn’t for the sun.

The sky spread blue above the tree this morning, with soft, large clouds swaying to and fro. And as the wind swept one such cloud away, the sunlight came pouring through the canopy.

The grass was no longer merely lush and the leaves were no longer merely yellow. And neither house nor tree nor lawn stood separate, placed near the others through the happenstance of time. The light basked everything in bronze and radiance, and for one moment all of it — tree, grass, roof and walls — came together, forming one whole.

And there was I, communing in their grace.

In Hebrew, ‘to sanctify’ is to set aside, to dedicate. And today the wind set one moment aside to be awash in light.

The same wind blew, then, and the cloud swayed, and we were separate and mute again. But I remained by the oak tree for a while. I stood by it, waiting for more light.