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The Epiphany

The Epiphany
Between the Years 2008 and 2015, I Took
Nearly a Quarter-Million Photographs of Birds.
It Was the Most Gratifying Activity of My Life


By early March, a pair of common sawbills were navigating the icy waters and little snow-covered rock islands of Lower Winona Lake. Soon, there were more than a dozen ring-necked ducks, beautiful hooded mergansers, a species of deep-diving grebes, and more than thirty ornate wood ducks. Later, there were cardinals, blue jays, green herons, kingfishers, orioles, and many other species of birds.

It was as if God was personally tending
To my deepest spiritual needs and desires.

But what made these majestic events possible was the construction of a strip mall west of the woods. A large swath of land had been cleared, and that caused wildlife to flee eastward to the spillway. It made me wonder if every blessing we experience is diminished or even corrupted by its occurrence in the physical world. Maybe we should be thankful for what we have when we have it. It is a gray philosophy, but the alternative is to live with an enormous chip on your shoulder, doomed to fret over every discouraging event that happens, your every good thought polluted by the unrealistic and self-destructive belief that the world can, or even worse, should be made subordinate to our will.

The Epiphany

Some Lines Pertaining
To a Sudden Insight

(Newburgh, New York
Water Street, 2008)


I wandered on the waterfront
Where cherry blossoms grow

And took some petals
Into mind,

And then,
I let them go

They were so pink
That God seemed vain

And naked to my eye -

Yet I was gathered in His grace,

As they began to fly

And as their beauty
Rose above my wonder

Far below,

They burst in pulsing rings of light
That set the scene aglow

The blossoms flew in ways their own,
Then on the river fell like teardrops

From a mother’s eyes
When children perish well.


My mother laid me in an ark
And set me on a course

Upon a river in her heart
That has a sacred source

And so, I drifted in her dreams
And felt my wonder rise,

For everything I came to love,
I first saw in her eyes

I knew her face in downy clouds,
Reflecting on a wave, and did not doubt
Her love was there to comfort me or save

Oh, she is my true Jochebed
Of love beyond my place,
And I shall drift forever
On the river of her grace.

According to Bible Gateway, Jochebed was the mother of the Hebrew lawgiver Moses. Her appearance in the Book of Exodus is said to epitomize the virtue of trust in God. When the pharaoh orders the murder of the Hebrew male children, Jochebed places her son in a small ark, setting him adrift on the Nile River.

Jochebed’s selfless mercy (God’s grace) saves Moses from certain death and symbolizes faith, actuated by maternal love. In a sense, Jochebed does what every good mother must do: She constructs an ark of faith for her child and sets him free upon a river that he will navigate alone.

About this poem

Some lines written pertaining to a sudden insight.

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Submitted by EugeneOsowski on April 25, 2022

2:53 min read
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Eugene Osowski

Retired grant writer & Schoolteacher more…

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