Saturday, December 10, 2011
Advent by Thomas Merton
Skies, and be perfect!
Fly vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,
You moon, be slow to go down,
This is your full!
The four white roads make off in silence
Towards the four parts of the starry universe.
Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.
We have become more humble than the rocks,
More wakeful than the patient hills.
Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent,
While minds, as meek as beasts,
Stay close at home in the sweet hay;
And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.
Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our
You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,
Toward the planets' stately setting,
Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!
Read this poem slowly. Read it, perhaps two or three times so you can feel into the words and rest deeply into the place from which Merton describes the scene of Advent unfolding. Read and rest with the words until you step out of time and feel yourself "more humble than the rocks, more wakeful than the patient hills." Smell the sweetness of hay and hear the lowing of the beasts in the barn and in the vast open mountainside the sheep graze in a silent starry night. Let the words of the poem, like the coming of the New, pour over you slowly, slowly and gently lift you into the flow of the journey to Bethlehem.
May the serenity of the season surround you~Peggy