“Day spring from on high, draw near, day star in our hearts appear”
Evocative words from Charles Wesley’s hymn, Christ whose glory fills the skies which seems, on re-reading, to be the perfect hymn for today, the Winter Solstice, when we have only around seven hours of daylight. Already this morning I feel flooded with the powerful symbolism of light and darkness; today’s Advent poem in “Waiting for the Word” is Malcolm Guite’s own sonnet for the Advent Antiphon “O Oriens“, the rich layers of which I commend on this dark morning.
To add another dimension to this sensual epiphany, I am now listening to the beautiful motet “O Radiant Dawn” by Scottish composer, James Macmillan as well… If I don’t hurry up and get on with the day, I will have lost all the hours of light in poetic raptures!
My favourite Caribbean memory about dawn is undoubtedly the time when I was accidentally left behind after a mission on a small neighbouring island (a long story) and, having been billeted overnight in the rather unwelcoming, empty apartment of a casual acquaintance, found myself sitting on the small balcony from 4am next morning, waiting, longing, straining for the day to break and bring a boat to take me home! O radiant dawn!