Remember way back to the spring? When days were warm and sunny and full of flowers and green grass? I recall those early spring days with gratefulness, as the memory of spring and sunshine has to carry me through winter’s gray days. This spring I was happily occupied with reading Wind and the Willows and knitting a shawl inspired by the book. In chapter 5, the Rat and Mole celebrate Christmas with a troupe of caroling field mice. It was one of my favorite passages and I made note way back then to share it with you at Christmas time. As it is winter solstice today, now seemed like a good time to post the “Carol of the Field Mice.”
Villagers all, this frosty tide,
Let your doors swing open wide,
Though wind may follow, and snow beside,
Yet draw us in by your fire to bide;
Joy shall be yours in the morning!
Here we stand in the cold and the sleet,
Blowing fingers and stamping feet,
Come from far away you to greet—
You by the fire and we in the street—
Bidding you joy in the morning!
For ere one half of the night was gone,
Sudden a star has led us on,
Raining bliss and benison—
Bliss to-morrow and more anon,
Joy for every morning!
Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow—
Saw the star o’er a stable low;
Mary she might not further go—
Welcome thatch, and litter below!
Joy was hers in the morning!
And then they heard the angels tell
‘Who were the first to cry NOWELL?
Animals all, as it befell,
In the stable where they did dwell!
Joy shall be theirs in the morning!’
I love this poem for so many reasons, but I think one of the most dear is that the author includes the animals in the Christmas story and in its blessings. While we rejoice that God has come to save us, I take particular pleasure that Salvation’s story does not begin and end with us, but God’s plan for redemption encompass all of His creation. All will share in His joy in the morning.
Blessings to you,