The early morning is cool and sunny. The walking trail has been shaded by huge oaks, elms, and ash trees, the path shimmering with light and shadow. I come out of the shadows and suddenly it is there: Purple Martin Place, 76 Purple Martin houses on poles reaching for the sky, each one labeled with a number. “ In my father’s house are many mansions” and a host of chirping Purple Martins flying out across the large open field.I remember the Benedictine morning mass at St. John’s Abbey where I had retreated on the hard walk to the end of my 33-year-old step-daughter Katherine’s terminal cancer. RIP.
From their Purple Martin Mansions
The Purple Martins swoon and swoop
O’er the green grass field shimmering
In early morning light cooled by the breeze
A Purple Martin chorus chants its antiphons
En masse above the green grass field,
A purple Benedictine chorus sings praise
To the morning on their way to breakfast.
- June 1, 2011
Two Views from the Edge commenters found themselves singing the hymn “Morning Has Broken” after reading the poem. Click to hear and watch a magnificent instrumental and photographic rendering of the hymn. Here’s the first stanza:
Morning hasd broken
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them singing,
Fresh from the Word
- Gaelic melody; lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon, 1931