by Artist Eye
As [the Mole] sat on the grass and looked across the river, a dark hole in the bank opposite, just above the water’s edge, caught his eye . . . As he gazed, something bright and small seemed to twinkle down in the heart of it, vanished, and then twinkled once more like a tiny star. But it could hardly be a star in such an unlikely situation; and it was too glittering and small for a glow worm. Then as he looked, it winked at him, and so declared itself to be an eye; and a small face began gradually to grow up round it, like a frame around a picture.—Kenneth Grahame, The Wind and The Willows. (Illustration by EH Shepherd)
Kenneth Grahame’s masterful introduction to his character, the Water Rat, in The Wind and The Willows makes me think about how very gradually, sometimes, I become aware of God’s gifts to me. Something bright attracts my attention, like the apprehension of some Beauty, the comprehension of some Word, or the appropriation of some Grace. Only dimly at first, do I even recognize the Giver behind the Gift and then, only as I gaze at the Blessing, do I discover that the Personality who contains and frames it is standing right there.