“The birds begin to wake, it will soon be dawn” (Thomas Merton). And what a beautiful morning it is! This was a few years ago, in December. The winter sky before the dawn was quiet to greet the presence of God, who is newly welcomed as every little bit of Sun comes crushing in. Merton in his writings claims that the night was better than day, but I think the day holds the night in its breasts clothed in light.
The birds have woken up before the Sun, hopping around the trees singing their songs. Robins, tits, finches, magpies, and the birds with names I know not, sing in harmony their glorious praises in this rising Sun. Some buds begin to show, before time. Before winter came this year’s autumn looked a bit like spring. Is there spring in every season of life?
Never before did I notice how similar autumn and spring are, though each with its own tone and texture is unique, their tenor has different shades, different moods to display. I had presumed that autumn’s wisdom is letting go, while bearing fruits from the past helps you along the way. Whereas spring’s insight has a different tale whispering that new life comes even out of dark and seeming despair. But perhaps, strangely, letting go leads to new life. This season of winter continues to bear spring conceived in the autumn sun.
The birds on the trees look like remaining leaves. Branches, though bare, are brewing with new life within. And look, birds sing their songs to the buds, as if encouraging them to come out. Hopping all around the tree, they imagine branches with new leaves, so they sing them the song of hope, and too early some buds listening to this song awoke.
Even in winter before the Christ child is born, the hope of new spring is alive through the canticles and praises of all God’s creation, through birds, winds, mountains and trees. The hope of spring even in the fiercest winters never dies. But we need a winter to be winter, even when it embraces the songs of springs. Without the glory of the winter’s silence no song would sound so sweet.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 14th December 2009; one of my older reflections)
Photo by © Iva Beranek