Posted by: Peadar Ban | December 12, 2012

Today, December 12, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Here is another thing I pulled off the Facebook page of The Christian Book Corner:

A light bluish gray cloud trimmed in gold at the eastern edge blankets the world outside my window.  The first car has driven down the street, some fellow on the way to work leaving sleepers to awaken behind.  When I was much younger and all the world was morning to me this was my favorite time of day.  My father was a mailman, a Letter Carrier with a bluish gray uniform and a big leather bag to throw over his shoulder.  In the morning he would have a cup of coffee and a cigarette, speak quietly with my mother in the kitchen and then go out the door to work, closing it quietly behind him so he wouldn’t awaken anyone.

This still is my favorite time of day, though I missed its charm all those years while I worked and the children lived with us.  Then there were places to go and things to do.  Now?  Now there is simply a quiet morning and a bluish gray blanket thrown lightly over the sky.

When my father had gone to work I would already be sitting quietly in the living room listening to my mother put my father’s cup into the sink and pour herself another cup from the pot.  I could smell the coffee.  In our small apartment it filled the house.  Of course it was reinforced by all the other coffee smells coming from all the other apartments in the house where we lived in Kingsbridge, in the Bronx.  My brother and sister, still asleep, gave me a great gift, solitude.  My mother understood, and left me to myself.

One of my neighbors walks by my window, now, soundlessly, moving quickly, keeping warm and getting her exercise.  Soon, perhaps there will be a couple of dog walkers, or dogs taking their people for a pull over the hills and up and down the streets in search of good things to smell.  I’ll soon see the first children walking down the block to school not far away.

There is no plan, or purpose, to my being here.  I do not pray.  That comes later.  I do not plan the day.  I wouldn’t keep to the plan, anyway.  I have lived my life by accident, all of them, or the vast majority, lucky ones.  No, I simply sit quietly and let the light grow, and watch the world come into focus, and observe my mind reacting to it.

A moment ago I mentioned that I don’t pray during this time.  Perhaps I do, now that I think about it.  I am carrying on a conversation it seems by simply sitting looking out at “dayrise”; a conversation with the Maker of the day.  Oh, it certainly has a Maker.  It, and all of the others past and to come, are no random set of occurrences.  Nor are we.  it has a reason, and so do we.  I know that as surely as I know that my feet end in toes; five of them each, which are now a little bit cold.

Sometimes, thoughts will bubble up.  A word, an idea, a picture will form, and I’ll consider it, turn it over so to speak.  If they please or amuse me I might jot them down.  Most of the time I simply let things rest.  But, sometimes, whether silly or serious they be, I’ll take a moment and scribble them somewhere.  Here are some that have drifted across my attention this morning:

“I love you,” God said
And sent the sun
To rise above my head.
He repeated the words
And made the moon to shine,
Sweet trilling birds
For me.  He made the sea,
Mighty waves, sandy shores
To comfort and caress me.
He made storms,
All the winds to remind
When my sins
Lead me astray
What I do hurts me, and hurts Him too.
God is like that.  It’s true.
His love is very personal.
I should be more careful
With myself for His sake
And my own.

It’s a silly little thing, and I thought of my grandmother, well both of them, while I was thinking of it.  They both were readers of stories and tellers of them, lawgivers,keepers of culture and consciences of the family.  They would approve, I thought as I scribbled down the words above.  They did not “believe” in God.  They knew Him.

And then, as sometimes happens, one thing led to another…and another:

The sun weeps today.
Only look about to see
Drops of light falling.

Go!  And find the source
Of sadness in the morning.
Open souls!  Let light in!
Open souls let light in.

Mary rode the way
And slept beneath the stars.
I see the same ones.

Jesus, lord of all
In His manger laid His head.
Beasts received their guest.

I wondered, as I thought of the last few words and arranged them thus, how many are busy doing the same as the rude beasts did those centuries ago.

Now, the sun is definitely up.  The blanket has been pulled back on the day.  It is windy far above me because high clouds speed by going north.  A few minutes ago a siren wailed in panic in the distance, and a school bus just rumbled by.  We will pray soon, the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer, formerly called Matins and Lauds.  Sometimes it is work, sometimes play, always is it good exercise.  And sometimes, it is very surprising, giving one something to think about early in the morning.

What could that possibly be, you are entitled to ask?  Here, this little excerpt from the Second Reading in the Office of Readings; a sentence from a discourse on the Psalms by St. Augustine:

“God, who is faithful, put himself in our debt, not by receiving anything but by promising so much.”

I like that.

I hope you like this:




  1. That second poem is to be found now in my journal for the 12 th: I’ve just listened to the Schubert. Just what I needed, at the other end of the day far across the world. God Bless the pair of you, and I hope your Christmas was just grand!!


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