Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I was particularly taken with winter solstice 2010 because on that night a spectacular lunar eclipse coincided with the solstice.

Here in my corner of California the clouds parted just enough to have peeks at the moon as the earth’s shadow fell on La Luna. Then, as if by magic, just the eclipse became complete, the clouds almost disappeared. As spectacular meteor flashed from east to west across the dark and starry sky.

In moments like that, Earth/Moon/Sun’s splendor are so obvious. Small wonder that people have celebrated the winter solstice for many thousands of years.

Here’s a splendid photo taken by amateur astronomer Bob Johnson and shared on his blog Black Holes and Astro stuff.

[Click Photo to enlarge]



It just made me want to sing!

I’m not the first to observe that many of our familiar Christmas holiday customs are actually adaptations of winter solstice celebrations which came before the Christian era.

Here at Mindful Heart I’d like to offer a lovely response to that comparatively recent history. My friend, Sandy Eastoak has borrowed the melody of a familiar Christmas Carol and offers us these words celebrating the winter solstice. We sang it at our meeting Tuesday night.


O Flourish All Ye Gentle Folk
(sung to the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”)
by Sandy Eastoak


O, flourish all ye gentle folk, let nothing you dismay,
Remember that the sun returned to us on solstice day,
To save us all from winter’s cold and hunger’s cruel way—
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O, tidings of comfort and joy.

O, deepen all ye seeking truth, let nothing you impede,
Remember that the winter’s dark can nourish winter’s seed,
Silent changes grow within and to compassion lead—
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O, tidings of comfort and joy.

O, celebrate ye thankful folk, let nothing you delay,
The miracle of light and dark renews us every day,
Winter, spring,summer, fall all year the seasons play—
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O, tidings of comfort and joy.

Be trustful all ye gracious folk, enjoy the season’s peace
Renewal of the earth’s sweet green for eons will not cease
Each winter time our hearts can rest our burdens all release—
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O, tidings of comfort and joy.

Rejoice now all ye gentle folk be patient come what may
Remember that the sun returns each winter solstice day
That passing through the darkest time we find our brightest way—
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O, tidings of comfort and joy.



*******************************************************************
Coda:

I think one of the best things about this season is it is an excuse for us to sing with folks we know informally, spontaneously, without shame or any need to explain.

And, allow me to pass along Ruth Mowry’s  blessing—

Let’s warm up together like birds on a bough
And remember the year we’ve shared until now
Our flights have been wild, our songs wide and clear
May we scout, soar and sing
Even freer next year!


Link to Ruth Mowry’s blog, synch-ro-ni-zing

Link to Bob’s interesting blog: Blackholes and Astrostuff

6 comments:

steven said...

gifts! song, words, wishes, thoughts. gifts dan! an abundance of gifts. thankyou for shring your great fortune here. steven

Dan Gurney said...

You're welcome, steven. Your blog is a wonderful gift to me and all your many readers.

Sabio Lantz said...

Indeed, the excuse to sing is wonderous !!

Paul C said...

'O, deepen all ye seeking truth, let nothing you impede,
Remember that the winter’s dark can nourish winter’s seed,...' What a wonderful adaptation by a friend to a favourite carol.

I've enjoyed your posts very much this past year.

Dan Gurney said...

Sabio, yes singing is a divine human expression of joy, exuberance, sorrow, whatever emotion needs expression. Divine. The whales know this better by far than we. Trees, too, I suspect.

Dan Gurney said...

Paul, thank you. I feel lucky to have poet Sandy in my circle of friends. She's an amazing poet, really sends me.