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Sunbeams

On one of Nature's perfect July days, a young mother sat idly swaying to and fro in a hammock throughout the long dreamy afternoon, with her sleeping infant resting lightly, tenderly in her arms._

The spot was one of gentle beauty. From her swaying seat under an old apple tree she could see the trim lawns stretch away to the right and left with their brightly-colored flowerbeds dotted here and there. The tall lilies and hedge of sweet peas in the flower-garden beyond were just visible, and the scent of sweet-briar and roses was in the air.

Kathleen, or, as she was now called, Mrs. Maynard, thoroughly appreciated the natural beauties which surrounded her home, for one of her chief pleasures lay in bringing home tired folk to rest in her beautiful garden and enjoy the verdant pasture lands with their grazing flocks that surrounded it.

On this particular afternoon the house was quiet and the whole place seemed given up to dreamy contentment. Baby, a mite of four months, was sleeping peacefully, lulled by the music of birds and insects. Kathleen watched her little one with all a mother's soul looking from her great brown eyes, watched the sunbeams glint through the apple boughs, and fell to musing. How far, how wonderfully far those Sunbeams had come. Some of them touched her baby, her precious "Baby the Blessed" who was so very near to her, and these sunbeams seemed to bring quite an outside element—they had travelled millions of miles—ninety-five millions of miles! She resented the thought at first. It seemed so strange, so weird, that light from a burning world should come through the immensity of space and touch her baby, her own darling. And then she remembered that it was these same sunbeams that brought health and strength to her dear one, and how absolutely indispensable the sunbeams were to the earth and all they that dwell thereon; how, without the gracious messengers of light, day would be turned to darkness, and the earth be laid waste.

From this thought she went on to see the sun as a golden ball of love, pouring down his beams to gladden and enrich the earth, making life indeed more abundant. And her heart was cheered by the glimpse she caught of the bountiful "Love Principle" on which the universe is built, that we should be bound by ties of necessity to a source of light and heat ninety-five millions of miles away. Truly there is a great "oneness" underlying all things.

With this sense of beneficence filling her, Kathleen dozed, and saw as in a vision some of the life that is fostered by the sun. How the apple leaves drank it in, and how the many-colored butterflies flitting about on them seemed to enjoy it. And what a wonderland it afforded the kitten frisking about on the grass. Then there were the horses in the field, the haymakers, the busy towns and all that they contained; the countries beyond the seas where the polar bear roams or the orange tree grows. It all passed as a panorama before her mind's eye. "And all this life and so much more is dependent upon King Sol," said a voice, "and yet each takes it in such a different manner; to each the sunbeam means something different. The apple leaves use it for assimilating their food and so aiding their growth, the animals require it for their very life in many, many ways; all take it in naturally and use it unconsciously." The voice stopped, and she awoke. The sun was still pouring down his beams of love and life to the grateful earth, and all was peace. Baby smiled in her sleep. Kathleen meditated, gently swaying to and fro. It seemed to her that she had heard a parable, for surely amid the variations in religious life, the Dissenters, Freethinkers, Theosophists, Catholics, Lutherans, Mohammedans and Buddhists—there must be some inspiration from the great Source of all life, each assimilating its own sunbeam and working it up into its own form with infinite variety. The rays from the Sun of Righteousness spread far and wide, but though appearing in many disguises there is at the back but one Sun.

Kathleen rose and slowly carried .the little one to the house, with a new light in her eyes, murmuring softly to herself, "Yes, we must each follow bur own sunbeam. 'Right up the sunbeam seek the sun; God's light must lead to God."

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Grace Higgs

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