Hunkering Down… and Looking Up!

Via one of those “thought-you-might-be-interested-in-this” emails, Kathy directed my attention to a post at “St. Benedict’s Table.”

Looking at “St Ben’s Table” is interesting enough.  Here’s a Canadian congregation living in the Anglican stream—living, in some ways, along the lines and the spirit of the Iona Community in Scotland.  It seeks to define and live out of the tension of an “ancient-future Faith.”  Very compelling to me.

The post itself, “For a Time Like This: Hunkered Down,” spotlights the creativity of English priest/poet/theologian Malcolm Guite and musician/composer Steve Bell.  “Because We Hunkered Down” embraces the liminal (i.e., the in-between) space we occupy now… and have occupied for almost a year: winter, yes, but also the social and political and cultural “in between” which was and is 2020.

Engaging Ben’s table and this post has my mind and heart drawn in various directions…

  • There’s the subtle reminder that, in spite of the way we feel now, there is “nothing new under the sun.” Much as we are tempted to think that Guite had these days [of 2020-21] in mind as he wrote “Hunkered Down…,” the fact is he published it in February 2017 – with these comments attending that publication: “Here is a poem for those of you who, like me, find this time of year difficult to get through, perhaps all the more so with the news, as well as the weather, so bleak.”  There have been hunkering times before.  And, there will be hunkering times again.  In some ways, our journey in this world is a hunkering journey.
  • There’s the reminder – there in the poem and song – that we are “Easter people” and that “every day to us is Easter,” as one hymn puts it; that, as still another puts it, there’s a flower in every bulb.  Yes, “hunkering happens” (to paraphrase a common phrase).  But, amidst it all, Spring and Easter can still be affirmed and trusted.
  • Finally (at least for now), there’s the reminder of all the life-giving creativity that surrounds and fills our existence. As Hopkins declared that “the world is charged with God’s grandeur” and as Browning spoke of “earth crammed with Heaven;” even so, a simple “thought-you-might-be interested-in-this” email conveyed so much life to my heart, mind and soul:
    • Ben’s Table,
    • Guite’s poetry,
    • Bell’s music, and
    • just one more reminder of our Easter Faith and hope–
      new possibilities beyond the soul’s dark night.

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