Posted by: Peadar Ban | April 27, 2016

Today, April 27, 2016

The clock on the wall in the big room downstairs has just tolled the hour.  “Is has gone 6 in the morning”, it might be said in Ireland, that lovely soft land where it is almost mid day, now.  I opened my eyes about a half hour ago to the shadow of a tree stitched in  curtain of mist, lace within silk; and now, their dark trunks like black stone pillars, the silent ruins of  some ancient race feel the risen sun banishing shadow, the wispy hints of cool night, into the cloudless sky.


“The risen sun banishing shadow”

Across the narrow green carpet of meadow at the back of the house, peeking over the brow of the hill, a squad of jonquils raises their yellow heads to survey mist rising and light falling.  They are the brightest I’ve seen them yet. Looking at them I imagine them scouts of the coming day, heroes of light.


A Squad of Jonquils

I see the river now as its own slim cover of silken gray mist is lifted. And I imagine the budding trees away upon hills filled with small creatures and, perhaps, bright flowers in broad meadows, neat lawns. I see sleepy children in their warm beds, fathers on the way to work and mothers in their deshabille  sitting by the window sipping coffee, waiting. It wouldn’t have taken much I realize for someone, here dozens of centuries ago, to see in what has happened the forms of sprites and gods, of spirits whose job it was to move the mist and light the day, and leave an offering of thanks for the gift of life, light and such easy loveliness.  This is Easter, though, and I know better.

My own reverie here has no sound accompanying it other than the clock on the wall and  the soft birds singing in the thinning mist.  Everything else is still.

This is the break of day.  One can hardly hear it.

It is Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, a ponderous and clumsy name for a lovely soft day.  Still Easter’s light floods the day.  That’s all that matters.

I just finished reading the story of one of our saints, Saint Peter Armengol, who  started out as the son of a king, became a bandit and wound up a monk.  There is more to the story than that, of course, and if you follow the link, you will find great parallels between St. Peter and today, because, you see, he spent much time ransoming captive Christians from their Muslim kidnappers and slave masters.  There were religious congregations founded for just that purpose, and, as the story goes, not a few of the Muslims became Christians because of the grace of their contacts with men like St. Peter Armengol.

It was the very kind  of “work” that St. Francis of Assisi wanted to do.  One of the things he said, which is very appropriate for today, I think, is this little bit about the kind of men we shouldn’t be: If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

Since I’m talking about saints today, here’s another thing one of them gives us: “Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a Master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for love of Him.”  St. Dominic Savio.

The morning’s getting on, and strong sunlight fills the room.  Still outside this window not a leaf stirs, but I see now the deep red of blossom buds on the old crab apple just a few feet away.  It would make a lovely tapestry.

With that thought in mind I’ll leave now, and go downstairs to brew another cup of coffee, and sit, and watch the squad of jonquils at the brow of the hill, and watch the river behind flow down to the sea.

Not much more than that is needed.

I very distinctly remember the first time I heard this piece of music.  I was sitting in class at Manhattan College in September of 1961, a Freshman in their School of Arts and Science.  The class was required of all incoming freshmen, Fine Arts.  And this was one of the first pieces of music we listened to.  By the time the day was over I had acquired two things: a record player and an LP with this one it.

I cannot read music.  All I can do is listen.


  1. Lovely.

    • Thank you, Sister

  2. Luvly, Peter, simply luvly. I will, however, write you, entre nous, a fuller commentary.

    • Thank you, Darlin’. Remember that I am a sensitive fellow, please, and be gentle.


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