Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"Remembering That It Happened Once" by Wendell Berry

I have been told time and time again that I should read Wendell Berry. I have yet to crack open a book, but here is one of his Advent poems. It is rich in the pastoral imagery for which he is so well known. Soak it in. Be awed by the simplicity and majesty of Christ coming down to humanity, to a place just like this.

Remembering that it happened once,
We cannot turn away the thought,
As we go out, cold, to our barns
Toward the long night’s end, that we
Ourselves are living in the world
It happened in when it first happened,
That we ourselves, opening a stall
(A latch thrown open countless times
Before), might find them breathing there,
Foreknown: the Child bedded in straw,
The mother kneeling over Him,
The husband standing in belief
He scarcely can believe, in light
That lights them from no source we see,
An April morning’s light, the air
Around them joyful as a choir.
We stand with one hand on the door,
Looking into another world
That is this world, the pale daylight
Coming just as before, our chores
To do, the cattle all awake,
Our own frozen breath hanging
In front of us; and we are here
As we have never been before,
Sighted as not before, our place
Holy, although we knew it not.

- Wendell Berry, from A Timbered Choir

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