Seeing God in creation


Our hero's eyes sought out objects which were nearer at hand and looked away at some bend in the river, on the bank of which some red-beaked, red-legged gull was walking a bird of course and not a man. He looked on with curiosity to see how, having caught a fish, the gull held it crossways in its beak, as though wondering whether to swallow it or not, and at the same time looking up the river where in the distance another gull could be seen, a gull who had not yet caught a fish but who was watching intently the gull which had already caught one. Or with eyes half-closed and his head reaised upwards at the vast expanse of the sky, he inhaled the scent of the fields and listened to the marvellous voices of the songsters of the air, when from everywhere, from the sky and from the ground, they joined in harmonious choir without jarring on one another. In the corn the quail was calling shrilly, in the grass a corncrake was creaking, linnets were twittering and chirruping as they flew above him, a lamb was bleating as it skipped in the meadow, a lark trilled as it disappeared in the sunlight, and the calls of the cranes, as they flew high in the heavens in wedge-shaped formations, descended like the ringing notes of trumpets. The entire countryside had been transformed into sounds that re-echoed from every corner. Oh Creator! How beautiful still is your world in the depths of the country, in a little village far from the foul highways and towns.

Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

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