While we’re asleep
The paschal moon is shining
High above the trees.
And high above the trees
Even while we’re sleeping
Easter is growing
In the paschal moon
Like a child in its mother. — Anne Porter
I was up early this Saturday after Good Friday. I planned to send the boys off to Matthews, VA for a Regatta, and then slip back up the stairs, and back into the warm covers. But the Morning-After Moon called me out into the night,
to tug on a sweater and grab a blanket against the cold air,
to sit on the back porch steps gazing at its river of light sparking silver on black;
to shiver at the wind seeping through my blanket, and nightgown.
The fragrance of lavender is there and then gone…
Steam rising above the coffee; I sip, and hearken to unexpected birdsong full of hope floating through branches devoid of color.
Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones,
and praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,
but there is joy in the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)
The morning-after moon calls me to contemplate another long ago morning-after-moon.
So an hour’s vigil passes, and as I watch, the moon slips down lower in the Western sky, its river of light thinning. An answering glow from the East brings slow definition to branches, clarity to new leaves, and dilutes the inky blackness to deep new-morning blue. A robin hops nearby, rummaging in the leaves. As I watch his breast begins to turn ruddy red. A jay silhouetted black becomes bright as he clings to a branch restlessly swaying in the wind. And then the leaves of the trees are suddenly green then all aglow, and the moon is gone.
Sometimes it seems the world has changed irrevocably, and that night will never fade away. Sometimes we are not sure we want it to; lingering in the velvety darkness with only the moon to illumine the oft littered landscape of our lives. But it’s cold. And the birds are coaxing us to sing.
Relentless, the Son will shine, and the dark will fade away, and we will rejoice, sometimes surprised.
Mercies, new every morning, so great is His faithfulness.