It's been a long, cold, lonely Winter. And it only started a couple of days ago!
The problem was that the Fall was pretty tough. The Malheur defendants were sent free (well, some went back to jail awaiting trial in Nevada); there was an active-shooter incident at the school where my wife teaches (the Science Teacher hero was in our home the other night as my wife is Science supervisor and we hosted the Holiday dinner); and, then there was that horrible man elected president. That caused some serious trauma for some.
So, I return to the events of summer to catch a bright light for Christmas.
In our wandering of the National Gallery in London, we came across the original of one of my favorite Nativities.
I love this one as it is contemporary to my distant Cousin Poet, Henry Vaughan, and his twin, Thomas, the highly religious Alchemist married to Rebecca.
Here is my photo of the entire piece:
It is floor-to-ceiling huge, larger than life, as it should be.
May God bless us everyone!
And my wish to all is a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for all who seek joy and peace!
And speaking of Peace, I leave you with another Christmas Poem of Henry Vaughan:
And He the Prince of Peace, hath none.
He travels to be born, and then
Is born to travel more again.
Poor Galilee! thou canst not be
The place for His nativity.
His restless mother's called away,
And not delivered till she pay.
A tax? 'tis so still! we can see
The church thrive in her misery;
And like her Head at Bethlem, rise
When she, oppressed with troubles, lies.
Rise? should all fall, we cannot be
In more extremities than He.
Great Type of passions! come what will,
Thy grief exceeds all copies still.
Thou cam'st from heaven to earth, that we
Might go from earth to heaven with Thee.
And though Thou foundest no welcome here,
Thou didst provide us mansions there.
A stable was Thy court, and when
Men turned to beasts, beasts would be men.
They were Thy courtiers, others none;
And their poor manger was Thy throne.
No swaddling silks Thy limbs did fold,
Though Thou couldst turn Thy rays to gold.
No rockers waited on Thy birth,
No cradles stirred, nor songs of mirth;
But her chaste lap and sacred breast
Which lodged Thee first did give Thee rest.
But stay: what light is that doth stream,
And drop here in a gilded beam?
It is Thy star runs page, and brings
Thy tributary Eastern kings.
Lord! grant some light to us, that we
May with them find the way to Thee.
Behold what mists eclipse the day:
How dark it is! shed down one ray
To guide us out of this sad night,
And say once more, "Let there be light."