Not so much a morning song as a meditation song…
The morning, noiseless, flings its gold, and still is evening’s pace;
and silently the earth is rolled amid the vast of space.
Night moves in silence round the pole, the stars sing on unheard;
their music pierces to the soul, yet borrows not a word.
In quietude the spirit grows, and deepens hour to hour;
in calm eternal onward flows its all-redeeming power.
Attend, O soul; and hear at length the spirit’s silent voice;
in stillness labor; wait in strength; and, confident, rejoice.
In the land of hymns I have never sung arrives this one.
The morning song series has become almost comical now, one of those ironies you couldn’t make up if you tried. So I was bracing for another one, having spent the night thinking about straight white men and the propensity for some of them to see themselves as victims in a world they perceive as having limited power, success, and love. Bring it on, I thought, do your cheeriest happy morning song while I realize how sad life must be for some.
This hymn surprised me. Set in a minor key, it is contemplative – a hymn I might use to introduce a time of meditation, much like I might use a piece from Mark Belletini’s Sonata for Voice and Silence. And its lyrics invite us into silence – over and over. Not the rollicking springing forth of life as we’ve seen in other morning songs; instead, we get quietude and the silent music of the universe, inviting us to be silent, to labor, to wait, and finally to rejoice confidently.
In the last week, I’ve spent a lot of time away from social media and the news, grieving alone, seeking strength where I can get it, sitting in all of my feelings, hoping that strength will return, that hope will show through the cracks, that I will be able to act boldly and confidently again. This hymn gives my process permission to unfold as it has and as it will.
I thank all that is holy for this gift.