Sunday, October 02, 2016

Look Up, Waaaaay Up!

I enjoy Fall beauty in nature and the blessings of everyday and also anticipate the Thanksgiving holiday. Autumn, for me, lends itself to wistful reflection. And so, I occasionally hark back to summer days and former joys. I begin with one.
I'm sorry I didn't take a pic of
those amazing clouds that day!
“Look, there’s a rabbit. It’s running! See its nose . . . and ears?”  “Yep! They’re really clear.” My beloved and I were having coffee on the deck. We gazed upwards into a gorgeous blue sky painted with wispy, slow-moving clouds.

Soon we saw a dog, clearly resembling a Scottie or a Yorkie – sweetly cute, with distinct facial features – eyes and ears, nostrils and mouth and basic body shape, then next a huge fish. All were clearly distinguishable. Gradual change: The rabbit’s features began to lengthen, morphing in turn to a fawn, a goat and a horse.

Some folk attach significance to the figures they see in cloud formations or in other things. I knew a guy in Scotland who perceived the outline of South Africa in a marking that had formed on a bar of soap and figured that God was sending him there.
Soon his wife and family found themselves aboard ship with all their worldly possessions, heading halfway around the world. He was absolutely sincere. Was he a crank? Lord knows. He and his wife have since passed away, but their daughters now have their own families – not in South Africa, but back home in Scotland.
Courtesy: Free Google Images
A generation or two of preschool Canadians began their morning eagerly awaiting the invitation to “Look up, waaaaay up!” Lounging on the sofa or on the floor of their living rooms – some probably picking away at a bowl of Cheerios™ or Cocoa Pops® – little people in the thousands across the country followed the camera sweep of The Friendly Giant’s big leather boot, all the way up to his cheerful round face. And then they’d see Rusty the chicken and Jerome the giraffe puppets.

I’m sure The Friendly Giant’s mellow intonations inviting kids to view another episode of that children’s morning TV show still resonate warmly in many an adult memory today.

Those recognizable figures we perceive forming in the clouds high overhead have much to do with perspective and perception. The shapes resembling either objects or living things are not merely associated with the eye, but also with the mind. The eye and faculty of sight enable us to see, while the mind perceives, analyses and interprets what is seen.

Courtesy: Free Google Images
The youngsters see the huge, tall man with the long boots and his animal friends contrasting in size with the tiny furniture on the TV production set, and they believe that Friendly really is a kind and gentle giant. Rusty and Jerome, Friendly’s pals, become the kids’ pals too.
Our two younger sons used to watch the program; it was wholesome viewing. The little people had to look waaaaay up if they were to see the giant’s friendly face and his pals, and to follow the goings on at the castle each day.

Dreadful, heinous things are going on in the world around us, some at home, but especially abroad. Should we bury our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening? Do we fixate on the evil and darkness?

Acknowledge it, we must. But let us not fail to accept the warm invitation to look up, waaaaay up, to our Creator God, our Heavenly Father, and receive courage and hope, and be warmed in our souls and strengthened in our spirits to live in the light of His grace and love and to share it?

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, “Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness; Open our eyes, let us see Your Beauty . . .”*                                                              

*Paraphrased from song by Tim Hughes; © Thankyou Music.
Peter A. Black lives in Southwestern Ontario. He writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column, P-Pep! and is author of Raise Your Gaze ... Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart, and Parables from the Pond.


Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I loved the Friendly Giant, long after I was a child. We didn't have television quite as early as you did, but my next sister and I did get to watch the program with our younger siblings. I never got tired of the "warm place to curl up" or the stories that Friendly told. It was a safe place to rest and make believe. Thanks for bringing back the memories, Peter.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Carolyn. I grew up without television and was married about six years before May and I acquired one. After we came to Canada in '74 our kids were introduced to Friendly, Jerome and Rusty. Oh, BTW, the fact that our youngest was born three months after our arrival and we named him Jerome, had nothing to do with Jerome the Giraffe. Hmm, but kids still called him that anyway, from time to time! Lol. ~~+~~

Peter Black said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glynis said...

Oh my. I sure do remember the Friendly Giant and Rusty and Jerome and their tender invitation to play. And I am loving the way you extend the invitation now to look waaaa-y up to our Father God who is so much more than a friendly giant in the sky! Lovely post. Thanks, Peter.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Glynis. You, as the publisher of "Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings . . ." will likely have caught the similar motif in my borrowing Friendly's "Look Up, Waaaaay Up!" ;)~~+~~

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