Now that the seasonal Epiphany is behind us for another calendar year, it is interesting to think of the meaning of the word itself as it applies to life in general.

Epiphany derives from the Greeks, who had a word for (almost) everything. To them it meant a religious manifestation. To Christians, it means the specal 12 days after the birth of Jesus. To the world at large, in the sense that the writer James Joyce used it in his stories of ordinary people, it means a sudden awakening or appreciation.

We think we know a person until an unexpected casual comment gives us a new insight into what she’s really like.

We take for granted the world of nature, and, abruptly, a bird’s song penetrates our consciousness and we marvel.

Daybeak is daily subordinated to the necessities of the morning, but, once in a mysterious while, its magical quality strikes us and we stop to realize how blessed we are.

More than a vision or a dream, an epiphany in this sense is a very personal, wide-awake double take. It can come only from the Counter of Sparrows.