Creativity blends all the best elements of human nature: perception, imagination, intellect, courage, intuition, and empathy. We need to be able to see, feel, taste, hear, and smell the magnificence around us, lifted from "the no of all nothing," as e.e. cummings puts it, into "everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes." We need to take in this magnificence at more than face value, imagining its innumerable possibilities: a scarlet tanager takes wing in a poem, a bowed oak trunk becomes a cottage A-frame, that view down the valley assumes immortality through strokes of a paint brush. We need to shake our minds free of ruts and clichés and sing a new song, tell a vibrant story, envision a unique way, offer counsel with fresh clarity, even if we seem to be faced with the same material we've encountered hundreds of times before. Only the strength of our hearts -- aided by glimpses into the hidden meanings of things -- makes such a feat possible. And we need to know that our creations flow through us for the sake of all: humans, toads, tigers, trillium, storm clouds, suns, galaxies, and even the stones at our feet.
We have the grand honor of being conduits for divine imagination. Thus not only do we embrace all that's freely given to us -- the very definition of gratefulness -- we also magnanimously participate in developing and fulfilling this gift. As we share in the creativity which emanates from Ultimate Mystery, we experience perhaps the greatest gift of all.