This is such a gorgeous hymn, and a comforting one too.
First, let’s talk melody – Shelley Denham knew what she was doing, writing a sort of lullaby to winter in a gentle 3/2. It is both simple to sing and delicious to sing. I imagine my college choir director reminding us to sing through the long notes with some energy, because there is mystery there.
And then the lyrics –
Dark of winter, soft and still, your quiet calm surrounds me.
Let my thoughts go where they will; ease my mind profoundly.
And then my soul will sing a song, a blessed song of love eternal.
Gentle darkness, soft and still, bring your quiet to me.
Darkness, soothe my weary eyes, that I may see more clearly.
When my heart with sorrow cries, comfort and caress me.
And then my soul may hear a voice, a still, small voice of love eternal.
Darkness, when my fears arise, let your peace flow through me.
These are some beautiful, powerful lyrics for times when comfort and peace are needed…like now. It may not be winter quite yet, and it’s a sunny morning here, but there is a darkness in which ‘my heart with sorrow cries’. I love that Denham hears, out of that dark winter, ‘a still small voice of love eternal’ – yes, yes…not alone but present. Peaceful. Yes.
I’m finding my words are less elegantly composed this morning – but I think that in the face of this elegant hymn, nothing I say would match it.
Perhaps it’s time to just sing it again.