My eyes scan the horizon of your goodness.
The incense of gratitude rises as an evening prayer.
To the west, in the distance, is one of my favourite haunts, a holy place to me – though, isn’t the whole Earth holy?. I can just about make out Glyder Fawr (pronounced ‘glider vor’). And, it is there, over Glyder Fawr, that the beautiful sun is now setting, becoming paler and seemingly less luminous as it does.
Sunset is so marvellous that even the sun itself watches it every day in the reflections of the infinite oceans!
(Meh e Murat Ildan)
But to me, after you have spent many times climbing Glyder Fawr to its ‘prehistoric monster, ‘spiny-looking” top; that’s what it reminds me of: a stegosaurus’ back – it is a holy place, and as I gaze at it from afar, so, too, is this a holy place (and, indeed, wherever you are is holy, too).
At this time of the day, twilight, a time of gloaming, ancient and present-day monks would attend vespers – monastic evening prayers. At the end of a busy day that they may have had, that you and I have had, this hour, the twilight hour, the sixth hour, sext, is a time of courage, recommitment, and passion.
Oh send out your light and your truth; left them lead me;
Let the, bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
(Psalm 43:3, The Book)
It is a time for each one of us to pause and remember who we are. As Celts, Celtic-Christians, Druidic-Christians, Druids etc, we are invited to reclaim our status of: The Cosmos made conscious, Caretaker of the Earth, And Temple of Divine Light.
So, this evening, here’s a few thing I gently thought about, and which you might want to gently consider one evening:
- What was your greatest received blessing of the day?
- Did you have an opportunity to bless another?
- What one task can you smile about?
- Was there anything that went unfinished (and which you can do tomorrow and so be blessed, then)?
- What occurred today for which you are grateful?
- How will you relax this evening – otium sanctum? How can you ensure you have a ‘sacred pause’?
- Is there anyone you need to make peace with before the day finally ends?
Twilight is a special time of the day. The day is ending, night has not yet come; and we’re in that in-between time period, a ‘magical’ moment, the soul’s hour, a ‘thin place’ (Caol áit in Irish-Galeic, and pronounced ‘kweel awtch’). Here and now it feels as though anything can happen. At this hour ‘doors’ open to untold possibility and encounter. It is no wonder the ancients would gather together at this time to eat, to enjoy each other’s company and to hear the stories of those heroes of old.
As I drive home on a narrow curving road,
someone tailgates, itching to go faster,
not knowing he’s flesh and fragile.
Slowed by sadness and sick of pressure,
I pull onto the gravel shoulder, let him shoot by.
And on my right
catch sight of a great blue heron
standing tall and still in the aisle
made by two rows of towering trees.
Like a priest in feathered robes,
he bows his head three times
before an altar of mountain bluffs.
It’s dusk, and the moon, just rising,
illuminates his wings as they open in benediction
for evening flight.
His parting call:
Holiness may spread its wings for you at any moment.’
(Patricia A. Lunetta (quoted in Pilgrim Walk by the Sea by Susanne Hassell))
At such a time as this, where and when ‘thin places’ occur, the veil between this world and the Other is ‘thin’, ‘thinner’ than before, and Earth and heaven touch. Glimpses of the Divine occur in a myriad of ways: the felt embrace of the Presence, an elemental or dryad spied out of the corner of your eye, something inexplicably alerts you to the glory of nature all around you, or some other glimpse of significance occurs externally or internally.
The Presence is here, with you now; and mysteriously, this time, twilight, is nature’s cool breath as she exhales love. It is time for you to inhale.