Tuesday 1 January 2008

Ringing in the new year

at Great Missenden. Towers ring out the old year and ring in the new as they have for hundreds of years. God offers an underlying stability for our lives, like the ground bass in music, if only we have ears to hear.

There is a pattern underlying everything, to show that there really is substantially more to being alive than the bleeding obvious. These are the words with the lighting of the paschal candle at the Easter Vigil —
Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to you,
and all ages;
to you be glory and power
through every age and for ever.
A wet, blowy night, and New Year of Grace. Anyone for Tennyson?
I stood on a tower in the wet,
And New Year and Old Year met,
And winds were roaring and blowing,
And I said, “O years that meet in tears
Have you all that is worth the knowing?
Science enough and exploring,
Wanderers coming and going,
Matter enough for deploring,
But aught that is worth the knowing?”
Seas at my feet were flowing,
Waves on the shingle pouring,
Old year roaring and blowing,
And new year blowing and roaring.
Published in Good Words for March 1, 1868 as a decorative page,
with an accompanying plate by T. Dalziel. (never reprinted.)

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