ADVENT MEDITATION ON DYLAN THOMAS'S POEM
I turn the corner of prayer and burn
In a blessing of the sudden
Sun. In the name of the damned
I would turn back and run
To the hidden land
But the loud sun
O let him
Scald me and drown
Me in his world's wound.
His lightning answers my
Cry. My voice burns in his hand.
Now I am lost in the blinding
One. The sun roars at the prayer's end.
"Vision and Prayer" 1949
We grow older. The children leave home. Christmas begins almost imperceptibly to change into something new. Maybe in the beginning it is only the ornaments on the tree that change--the childhood ones have moved to the houses where the grandkids live--our children's houses. We hang a crystal angel, a silver-plated pine cone, One year we have no tree; instead we light candles on the mantle. We offer prayer as gifts. We sit in the silence and watch the bluejay that visits the feeder, the fox making his way across the forest's edge. We wonder what the Coming might be like now that its meaning sinks deeper and deeper into our souls, finally unencumbered by externals like bright ribbon and glitter. What kind of love might this have been that came to us from God? When we pray, "Come Emmanuel", for what exactly is it that we pray? We wonder that as we watch the sun setting early over the western hill. In the morning Orion strides across the still dark sky. "I wait for God as the watchman for the dawn." Breath, sighed onto the cold glass, makes a page on which to write one's deepest desire.
O Christmas, Christmas! You fill my soul utterly. You are the burning of love in the heart of night's chill. You are the tenderness of God; you are the fire. You are the searing of soul, you are the cooling wind. The Divine Gift you bring melts all I used to recognize of myself. My voice burns in Your hand, as your loud sun Christens down the sky.
May Love dawn for you in times of darkness.