Author: Samuel Brown

Sacraments in the Time of Cholera

Our kwanzan cherry has started to shed its exuberant blossoms. The hues inhabit the world that exists in my mind between purple and pink. The tree can only hold those flowers aloft for a few days, maybe a week. A splash of love and color, and then they are gone. I’m standing on the park strip in front of our house, in a black-and-white mask my middle daughter bought from her favorite leotard company early in the pandemic.

When the ox can’t escape the mire

Not actually the Uintahs but still nice

Sam Brown is a friend of Times & Seasons and teaches pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. When I became a God-believer three decades ago, I think I understood something about the sacred stillness of the sabbath from my time camping beside the alpine lakes of the high Uintahs. One feels embarrassed to think of those cool blue worlds as oases when they are surrounded by glistening verdure and flickering stands of aspens, but spiritually I couldn’t turn my eyes away from them. Those lakes and their sheltering mountains were key components of my movement out of atheism. Not because they proved God, but because they carried God.