Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ode to Joy

Across our street stands a humble bramble hedge. It rims the embankment that drops to the valley below.

From the valley floor, rising far above the brambles, is an ancient holly and a stand of venerable oaks. At this season of the year the holly is crimson with berries, the oaks, barren of summer leaf trace the sky with patterns resembling Nottingham lace.

Recently, the air was filled with bird song. It was such that gave new meaning to the term fortissimo. The power lines above, the holly and the oaks were bare. Where was this great choir hiding? The knots and snarls of the hedge were a wave of motion. The singers themselves were humble dappled-brown house wrens, not considered the greatest songsters of the bird world. Yet all together their song filled the air and lifted the spirits on a Northwest-gray winter's day.

Is it a stretch to call this a "figure of the True"? An echo of the past?

This season reminds us of the angel's sky-song to lowly shepherds in the field. I know the gospel account reads that the angels "said" rather than "sang". But really, wouldn't such amazing praise sayings from such a multitude have formed song?

It pleases me to think so.


  1. Beutifully writen. I love those noisey little birds.
    Thanks for stopping by my party.