And Lights Directed and Light Reflected

A family together again

A family together again

22 December 2013
12:00 am

T. —

For the days that fly by too fast to count, every hour is midnight. Every time is late, and every night is closing in.

In the morning, we picked up Jamie and Susan from the airport, getting up so early that it was as if we had almost traveled halfway across the world ourselves. The day was a mixture of welcomes and food, and tea, and naps, and short excursions around Edinburgh. We went to the German Christmas Market, we took a walking tour of the neighbourhood. In the afternoon, I wrote out Christmas cards and went to rehearsal.

The evening was the carol service at St. Giles. Here is one of the songs we sang (it’s not us singing on the video, but this is the same song):


At the service, there were so many poems or readings about light and darkness. Not in a sin and salvation kind of way, but in a reflection about the significance of light, about the role of darkness. They read this piece by T.S. Eliot and I fell in love with it on first listen. I can’t believe I’ve never heard it before.

T.S. Eliot

О Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less;
The eastern light our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening.
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.
О Light Invisible, we worship Thee!

We thank Thee for the lights that we have kindled,
The light of altar and of sanctuary;
Small lights of those who meditate at midnight
And lights directed through the coloured panes of windows
And light reflected from the polished stone,
The gilded carven wood, the coloured fresco.
Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward
And see the light that fractures through unquiet water.
We see the light but see not whence it comes.
О Light Invisible, we glorify Thee!

In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad
when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too
much pain.
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night
and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for
work or play.
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad
to sleep,
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night
and the seasons.
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and
relight it;
Forever must quench, forever relight the flame.
Therefore we thank Thee for our little light, that is dappled
with shadow.
We thank Thee who hast moved us to building, to finding, to
forming at the ends of our fingers and beams of our eyes.


I have so much to be thankful for. Even with a sore back, this Christmas season is feeling so fulfilling. I hope you feel better soon, and in the meantime, I hope you feel rested and supported.



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