Thursday, December 3, 2015

Advent music

I'm working on the music for Advent Lessons and Carols at St. John's, Newtonville on Sunday, December 13 at 4PM. I haven't seen it advertised yet, or I'd include the link, but I'm sure it will be posted somewhere soon if you want more information.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share with you videos of some of the music we'll be doing in case you would like to sing along with me as I practice. It may also be that you, too, would find it a good way to enter into Advent prayer. (We will also be doing an arrangement of the hymn posted here earlier.)

Adam Lay Ybounden (Boris Ord) - King's College Cambridge

Stanley Vann: There is a flow'r sprung of a tree

A song of peace, Charles Villiers Stanford

San Bernardino Advent

We had our Coffee and Conversation this morning at the convent on the topic of Advent. Since I got to play hostess this time, so to speak, I brought an Advent hymn that seemed to me to speak to it: "What is the crying at Jordan?" by Carol Christopher Drake. Now, needless to say, that was neither the only nor the first (or second or third) part of our conversation, but we did eventually get to the context in which we are living our Advent.

I first discovered this hymn at the convent in 2000, I believe, but I remember it most clearly in 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11. The wonder of the Incarnation is clear in the beauty of Christmastide; the wonder of Christ coming to us precisely in times of terror, joining us right here, right now, not when the world is at peace or we are as we should be, produces an even greater awe in me.

And so as I long for peace, for an end to hatred and bloodshed and despair in this world, I share this hymn with you as a prayer.

"Who then shall stir in this darkness, prepare for joy in the winter night?

Emmanuel: God with us.

Monday, November 30, 2015

awake and aware - more Monday beauty

I walked today in the same place I walked last week, the  Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary. It was the same familiar beauty, but of course not the same, never the same from day to day. Amazing how God always has some new beauty to show us if we are awake and aware.

Awake and aware - that's an Advent theme if I've ever heard one.  Appropriate for the Monday in Advent I, the beginning of a new year for those of us following the Christian liturgical calendar. And so, once again, I'd like to share it with you.

The bird feeders by the entrance always provide a little entertainment on the way in.

I love chickadees.

House Sparrow convention

a treetop Merlin surveying the situation

Cooper's Hawk hunting for dinner

Meadow Vole

I've been wondering what this little not-exactly-a-mouse creature was for some time. I've seen them here before, and last week I saw a couple down by the bay at the end of our road. Finally learned tonight that they are voles! So here is my new animal for the week.

I loved the reds against the browns of the grasses and trees.

Such a beautiful Red-tailed hawk came along and wasn't a bit bothered by two of us with cameras. Perhaps he is used to the paparazzi.

Song Sparrow camouflage

American Robins everywhere today! And here I used to think they were only a spring bird.

They must be Episcopalians.

Northern Harrier

So beautiful...

This deer was awake and aware, so eventually she decided to high-tail it out of there - literally - in case I should be a danger. Good thinking, though of course I'd much rather she stayed put so I could be with her longer.

So thankful for this afternoon.

Monday, November 23, 2015

 Ah, Monday sabbath time... another walk in the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield. It's definitely become one of my happy places.

This red-tailed hawk was just hanging around on the birdhouse paying no attention to four of us who were acting like paparazzi much nearer to him than usual. Nearby, a flock of Canada geese grazed - or whatever it is that Canada geese are doing finding food in the grass - and paid no attention either to him or to us. 

I just don't tend to picture red-tailed hawks sitting in the grass unless they are dining. He wasn't.

He found another perch, also fairly nearby. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd have to walk away from such an encounter, but he was quite comfortable, and I was getting chilly, so it was time to start walking again.

I love the red berries of various kinds all around the pond. I wonder if this is the same kind of "winter berry" that I was shown Saturday at the church fair where I was selling Haitian crafts. The parish was selling beautiful branches with which people could decorate their homes for the holidays. I gather waders are de rigueur in parish ministry these days. Wouldn't hurt in convent ministry either, now that I think of it. Hmmm...

Why do I find bridges so beautiful? I'm sure there is a meditation in here somewhere.

Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the moon and the sun.
Psalm 74:15 
(or 74:16, depending on the translation)

Thank you, Lord.

Monday, November 16, 2015