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Despite two thunderstorms, they came! For starters, yummy earthworms and grubs will satisfy hungers and jump-start prodigious growth. We give thanks …

It was 1881. A singing lark so fired the imagination of the British poet George Meredith that he composed The Lark Ascending, a paean of joy to his messenger from God, flitting and soaring above a summer meadow. When recited, listeners still pick up his song, a piece of which is quoted here:

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake…

For singing till his heaven fills,
’Tis love of earth that he instills,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
And he the wine which overflows
To lift us with him as he goes…

That same year, the British Ralph Vaughn Williams, composer of classical music and a literary adept, happened upon Meredith’s poem, The Lark Ascending and using the same title, scored notes around his experience, featuring a solo violin and orchestra.

Both compositions still inspire: it’s as if the lark had jettisoned the words/notes that kept it in print, transporting listeners to idyllic fields in which Nature’s freshness invigorate languid spirits. In the face of such beauty, imaginations expand, eyes brighten, another song spirits our steps into the next moment. Again, we feel. Fortunate for us that Meredith and Williams were attuned to the lark’s gift, despite the evils of the Industrial Revolution, colonization, and World War I that besmirched many at that time.

Internally, our times are not that different. We have only to listen with open hearts to Beauty. Psychic transformation occurs, followed by gratitude for Life and new learning, and another day passes.

Oh mother! You should go out and see!
There’s never been such a sky.

…………………………………………………..

Hanging over our roof,
there is a star as large as a window;
and the star has a tail, and it moves
across the sky like a chariot on fire.

So sings Amahl, the crippled boy, to his widowed mother in the opening scene of Gian Carlo-Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951). The star sets this one-act opera into motion: it fires the boy’s imagination and dramatically alters his mother’s impoverished world; and it compels Three Kings to abandon their charts in foreign lands and seek shelter from winter’s cold in the widow’s hut.

As the story unfolds, we learn from Melchior about another child, the one they seek,

 

the color of wheat…
the color of dawn
His eyes are mild; his hands are those of a king
– as king he was born.

Incense, myrrh, and gold we bring to his side;
and the eastern star is our guide.

 I, too, am looking for the Child. I, too, follow the crystal star, one day/night at a time.

Within its scintillation appears the guidance I seek, now that my terminal illness seems to be at a standstill: new limits form the boundaries of my known world. But in the in betweenness of things, change is happening. That, I do know. Like Amahl’s and his mother’s ongoing transformation, I remain content, my trust fixed upon the night sky for the next suggestion.

 

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