An Ode to the Small Hours

An Ode to the Small Hours

It IS a new day
     but before first ray has christened it
     or first bird’s song proclaimed it
In this moment, the day exists only obscurely
It is in my heart by the light of faith
     that I “see”
     the light unfolding
     the rusty leaves falling
     the misty dew alighting
     the steps emerging
     the tasks developing
Right now, in the dark before the dawn, it is all conjecture
The phantasmal image of ‘tomorrow’ not promised

All I really have is this moment alone
I must allow it to envelop me in an alert silence
     Alert, for no moment is ever really neutral.
Old narratives, patterns, fears, as well as the glories
exert on this moment a treacherous gravitational pull
       proposing to tint the coming day with all the presumptions of the last
             and the one before that
                     and all the ones before that

I must be clear-eyed about it:
This moment is a New Beginning, its cusp, anyway
Like that ancient moment just as the Word was springing from Abba’s mouth
               And there was Light.
Or that liminal moment as the Word was springing into the Virgin’s womb
               And there was Life.
But in this moment, the new little creation unfolding depends on me alone
     not first bird, nor first ray;
     neither yet Mary’s fiat, nor even God’s command –
          for it was He who ordained us to participate in His creativity.
It is my soul who
(forgetting all that is past)
Strains toward the heavenly call of this New Day
The song of praise and trust in my soul shall awaken the dawn
               And in that is Love.

All at once, I can see the ray of light through the crack of eternity
Pitch black turns now ultramarine, now cobalt, now azure.
First bird is delayed today in her pronouncement.
But no matter
  When at last she awakens to herald the dawn
Light, Life, and Love will already be here to meet her

And our lives will unite in the harmony of praise for this New Day

posted January 1, 2019 by Adwoa Lewis-Wilson

Adwoa is part of a generation of young(ish) contemplative Christians exploring the intersection between the inner work of Wisdom and its prophetic presence in the world. Believing we live in a time where the voice of Silence and Wisdom must be heard, Adwoa is actively exploring ways to build communities of hospitality and mutual support for the work of personal transformation and its radiating witness to others. Her practice has been shaped by various monastic residencies, vowed life as an Oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich, the Wisdom community, and her personal journey with inner and societal poverty, marginalization, and darkness.


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