Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things That Won't Stay

The Night Will Never Stay

The night will never stay,
The night will still go by,
Though with a million stars
You pin it to the sky;
Though you bind it with the blowing wind
And buckle it with the moon,
The night will slip away
Like sorrow or a tune.

-Eleanor Farjeon

Maybe this poem popped into my head in the shower this morning because I was thinking about the passing of Summer. Some people are ambivalent about Summer or plain dislike it, as they love another season so much more. But it doesn't last.

Even though we Christians are "children of the day," night does not belong to evildoers. My friend Tim taught me to consider the darkness of Deep Heaven (C.S. Lewis' preferred term for space) or the night sky not as empty, but rather, full of angels.

In the days before electric lights the night was long, especially in winter. It was common for people to spend many hours on their beds, but not sleeping all that time. In the middle of the night they would have the opposite of a nap, a period of being wide awake. During this time they would think or pray, during what the Psalmist refers to as the night watches.

Of course there is much physical beauty in the stars and moon, the smells and sounds of the night. There is nothing like sleeping outside on high mountains--especially if you can have your night and summer at the same time--and contemplating the glory of God in those uncountable stars. It's hard not to pray then.


Pom Pom said...

I love the comfort of night. Last night we sat around a fire, tiki torches smoking, talking and laughing with friends. My hair smelled like camping and I wore a borrowed jacket because it got surprisingly cold. It was sheer bliss. I am sad to bid summer goodbye - I have had the most appreciated one this very year. I just can't get enough of all her gifts: flowers, visits to my family home, free time to read and write, grandchildren, zucchini and yellow squash, birds flocking to the bird feeders, time for long walks and wasteful shopping . . .
I like your image of wakeful nights - the opposite of a nap. I will now embrace my night watches. I'm so glad you are my blog friend, Gretchen Joanna.

amy said...

Gretchen Joanna,

God bless you!

And thank you for the kind words on my blog. I love this entry of yours. It really touched heartstrings as always happens when you meet a kindred. I especially like the term by C.S. Lewis of "Deep Heaven". I'll be remembering that one!

May the joy of heaven be yours this day,

the Provident Woman said...

What a beautiful sky.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I love night this time of year, especially right at dusk. I'm often out walking my dog as the last bit of light fades and am full of awe and wonder.

Interesting about the period of being wide awake during the long winter nights. I often awake at 2 a.m. and pray my way back to sleep.