A reflection by Rev Hannah Lane: Songs and Seasons ~ Summer

“Morning has broken like the first morning,
blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word!”
I wonder if you’ve been woken up early in recent weeks? What was it that triggered it; the light streaming through the window, or was it the singing of the birds? I’ve suffered some very early mornings at the beaks of our local birds these last few days. Their singing creates a cacophony of noise, a wonderful sound to behold, but not always one that I relish at 4 or 5 in the morning. Birdsong, along with the light, is one of the indicators of a new day each day. A song to bring in something new, to start a new chapter and to rouse us to ‘get up and get going’!
I’m struck by how often songs are used in this way, birdsong signifies a new day, but alongside this, many of the songs and hymns we have in our churches signify new starts and celebrate the journey through life that we all take. As we approach the long pause in our school year for the summer holidays, we might be reminded of singing that classic…
“One more step along the world I go
One more step along the world I go
From the old things to the new
Keep me traveling along with you
And it’s from the old I travel to the new
Keep me traveling along with you”
A song to signify the seasons indeed. One which marks out our journey of life and that reminds us that even though we move onwards and forwards, we are never alone. We’re always accompanied by our Lord. Our oldest children in primary schools have recently taken their SATs exams, our older children in secondary schools are sitting their GCSEs or A Levels.
The march of seasonality continues, and our songs punctuate these events.
The seasonality of life, and indeed the seasonality of our world are ever constant themes in our songs. But, throughout all this we should be reminded that there is constancy in what we believe. There is stability in our faith. Our God isn’t seasonal, but ever present. Not surprisingly, there is a hymn that reminds us of this too…
“Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know                                                                                              His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.”
So, when you are next rudely awakened by the birds, maybe pause and ask yourself: ‘I wonder
what hymn they are singing today?’ and be reminded that it might be one of seasonality, or it
might be one of change; we will never know. What we do know though, is that it will be a hymn of praise.