Sunday Inspiration: Sparks and Flames


“After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn’t flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.” Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

After spending twelve days traveling around Costa Rica with Proman, I agree whole-heartedly with Annie Dillard that “the whole world sparks and flames.”

I’ve never seen, much less imagined, such extravagances, such rich diversity, such incredible beauty. This small country has more biological diversity for its size than any other nation in the world. It’s like being in the Garden of Eden before humans showed up with their bulldozers.

It would be terribly difficult to leave Costa Rica without being a wild-eyed (and wide-eyed) environmentalist. In most of the world these priceless treasures are slipping from our hands and too much of these glories of creation will not be available for future generations, and I find that terribly tragic and unacceptable. Is there any way to demonstrate that saving this beauty and diversity is worth the small amount of money we spend on it? Yes, we just have to look into our hearts and ask if we want our children and their children to be able to do the same.

Spiritually, I feel inspired and fed by the “heaping profusions” of flora and fauna I witnessed. I feel changed and charged by such generous abundance.

And I sense that my eyes have been opened a little wider to the many mysteries and miracles around me wherever I am. You don’t have to be in Costa Rica to be moved by the fire of our world.

Do you? Ask this little guy what he thinks.


  1. Martha O'Quinn on March 19, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Thanks for sharing Emilie. I can tell you enjoyed your trip. Awesome photography. It will soon be time to head north for the summer.

  2. Nancy Lepri on March 19, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Lots of fun and great memories.

  3. Pat Kennedy on March 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I feel that anyone who does have trouble believing in God as THE Creator Extraordinare….should just spend time in a beautiful natural spot. Even their own little garden has lessons to show. I bet the flowers were magnificent. We are all God’s creatures….. we should treat everything with respect. Thanks for sharing your pictures, Emilie.

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