Pomegranates by Chanan Mazal

Pomegranates by Chanan Mazal

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A Euonymus Alatus Moment

Hi my friends, it has been a while.  I have missed all of you.

Life over the past month had been a blur until an unexpected divine euonymus alatus moment - also known to some as a burning bush experience.

It was mid October and I noticed that the deciduous shrub beneath our bay window was still green.  I sadly resigned to the thought that perhaps it just wasn't going to change colour this year.  

Fast forward now with me to a warm afternoon in mid November...

I walked up the path toward the house and did a double take.  My eyes widened as I noticed the glorious transformation that was before me.

When did this happen?  How could I have walked by this bush over the past few weeks and failed to notice this masterpiece come to life?  



I stood for a small sacred moment mesmerized by this historical holy bush.

Now I admit, I wasn't quite brave enough to take off my shoes in November and stand on this holy front lawn, but I did however stoop down to take in every detail of this wonder.  

I inspected the strong winged stems and watched as each fiery autumn leaf gently swayed in the unusual warm November wind.      


I can't believe I almost missed this crimson transfiguration right in front of me.  

Sometimes we grow so accustomed to our routines, tasks and surroundings that we go about life on autopilot.  We fail to slow down to take notice of God's beauty all around us.

After my moment at the foot of the euonymus alatus shrub I sat down by the bay window that overlooks the burning bush.  I picked up Yankoski's book, The Sacred Year.  As I turned the page I couldn't believe the words that followed...


"...to saunter means to bless the land, or...to move through the land in a way that receives its intrinsic holiness for the blessing that it is.

...Moses sauntered toward the burning bush...he moved slowly, reverently, without hurry or effort as he drew nigh to the Holy One."

Michael Yankoski, The Sacred Year (reflecting on the words of Henry David Thoreau)


Ok Lord...You have my attention!

It was as if God was speaking to me from the midst of my own burning bush.  

I believe there are times in our lives that we need to be shocked awake by unusual and extraordinary means.

How can we receive God's intrinsic holiness and draw near to Him if we are too anxious, too worn, too busy being productive or so consumed with wanting to get somewhere else in our lives that we actually miss Christ on the way?

We forget that Christ is the way.  

Yankoski reminds us that the burning bush is a call to saunter and be attentive to God's Holy Presence.

I close the book as the bush out the front window continues to call me to behold His glory and receive this blessing.  I accept His gracious invitation to lean in, listen and rest in His Holy Presence. 

Fast forward again to a few days later...

Still reeling from the burning bush experience I decided to do some research on this spectacular species (that is if you can call wikipedia research - which apparently I do).  I came across another delightful discovery.

As if this whole burning bush experience had not been quirky enough I learn that the euonymus alatus bears fruit.  Not just any fruit, but none other than...a red aril!

I couldn't help but laugh.  Ruby arils in the midst of the burning bush.  I never cease to be amazed by You!


Instead of rushing throughout this Christmas season that has begun - may I suggest that we slow our pace to a saunter.

Let's walk attentive, awake, expecting to catch a glimpse of His holiness.  You never know what euonymus alatus moment might be just around the corner.  

Thanks for joining me on another crazy part of the mystery of my pilgrimage here at arils and castles.