Thursday, March 26, 2020

Joy Comes With the Dawn

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Oreo on the Prowl

Joy comes with the dawn;
joy comes with the morning sun;
joy springs from the tomb
and scatters the night with her song,
joy comes with the dawn.

1 Weeping may come;
weeping may come in the night,
when dark shadows cloud our sight.  R

Voices United 166

This morning we decided to get out early for a stir-crazy antidote walk. In many jurisdictions parks and paths have been closed because people are too stunned to maintain physical distance from friends and strangers alike. We're taking advantage of the freedom to amble and ramble for as long as possible.

This is a butt-ugly, "Lenten self-denial" time of year in Southern Ontario. It's seems that the palette of our world is all subdued and sombre colours. We await the return of most songbirds and leaves to the trees.

We arrived at the conservation area by 7:45, so we were alone for our entire walk, even though we were on the trails for an hour and a half. At the boardwalk into the marsh there was a great chorus of red-winged blackbirds, the first cohort of returnees. We saw a purposeful muskrat, swans, various ducks and, yes, geese, geese and more geese. 

In the woods on another trail we stopped for a momentary ritual of gratitude for the trees we've adopted after reading about an elder Ethiopian woman who does so each time she enters the church forest she attends. It makes us mindful of both our setting and the Creator.

We laughed a lot as we staged Oreo, a favourite plush toy of our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, throughout the woods. A tale of feline adventure for her will ensue.

We also walked in reverent silence, taking in the plainness which has its own anticipatory beauty. The carpet of decaying leaves muffled our footsteps. We reached the Moira River and were startled by a sharp report which was the slap of a beaver tail. We stayed still and it re-emerged. In fact, it hung around, swimming back and forth in an attempt to figure out what we were. A Pileated woodpecker pounded away nearby. 

Often when I'm outside hymns come to mind in a way they rarely do when I'm indoors. On the boardwalk it was Joy Comes With the Dawn, a hymn which we've often sung during communion on Easter morning.  

In what is a truly pensive season of Lent for the planet there is still laughter and joy, and an Resurrection promise, even though there will be no physical Easter morning gatherings in a couple of weeks.That promise was in the air today, and I'm grateful to God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. 

2 Sorrow will turn,
sorrow will turn into song,
and God's laughter make us strong.  R

3 We will rejoice,
we will rejoice, and give praise,
to the One who brings us grace.  R

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A Weary Oreo in my Backpack

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