Just to Bless the Morning

March 31, 2013 § 3 Comments

This Lent held a succession of heartbreaks and disillusionments for me. It was the end of an epoch, the revisioning of visions I’ve held dearly and long. It’s true that real life hits suddenly and all at once — and regrouping feels so dramatic, even when you have a little voice inside to chide you with perspective.

I came here trying to be bold and strong and unstoppable, but what I’ve found in this first month is that I’m a mess of dreams and doubts, held together by friendship and love and little graces. I’m shadowed in the wake of this by thoughts of my personal legend, and the idea that daydreams are done and destiny is at hand, if I will step into it now. I’m trying to trust myself so I will know how to live.


I have a new favorite song by one Ben Howard, called “Old Pine”. The chorus goes like this:

And we stood steady as the stars in the wood
So happy-hearted, and the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell, we sang
just to bless the morning.

I listened to it today as I walked to Sankt Hedwigs Kathedrale for Easter Mass. I went there in the hope of hearing familiar hymns and feeling a bit more at home. I was intimidated by spending this holiday away from family — even in the States, I just want to be home for Easter.

I realized that what touches me most about holidays is their generationality. They remind me always of things that endure — of wheels that turned before I had a heart to ache within me, that will keep turning long after my heart can ache no more. They remind me that the best we can do is to offer up our hearts in all love, so we can ride the wheels and not be crushed by them.

On my walk there were babies dolled up in their strollers and old folks in their finery. There was sunlight on my cheekbone, snowflakes on my brow. A willow tree soft and yellow over the slate grey Spree. Spring is in our midst, even if winter lingers.

I took this in and the began to cry when the chorus of this song began to play. It was a wave of homesickness (for Tigger, for people, for time) — but also a wave of gratitude for the sun and the snow, for Easter and the good and beautiful things that endure amidst heartache and disillusionment. For the love that holds us steady and rings true inside our bones, even when the rest is obscured. The old pine can fall, and we can still sing — just for the grace of morning.


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