VNV Tuesday: It Came Upon a Midnight (Not So) Clear 12/26/17

Not my photo; not my yard…but it captures what Sunday was like at my house.
Today’s post is an expansion of a thread I tweeted yesterday; I offer it as a moment to slow down, reflect, and recharge.

It wasn’t a hard snow. It was one of those soft, gentle snows that comes down slowly, quietly…and before you know it, there’s two inches, then three, then four. It wasn’t too cold, so it was fluffy, not crunchy; nor was it too warm, so it was not too wet. But on unplowed country roads, prone to drifts, it was not a snow to be taken lightly.

My church

When you enter the sanctuary, the lights are already dimmed. The service is simple: singing Christmas carols and Communion; after receiving Communion at the front of the church, you are handed a lit candle to take back to your seat. The closing hymn is always all of the verses of “Silent Night”, and as the verses progress, the lights are further dimmed until extinguished, leaving the candles as the only light in the church. There is a simple benediction, and we exit in silence.

The dogs had gone to bed with my husband an hour earlier; I had no reason to go outside. Maybe it was a desire to see how much more snow had fallen; maybe it was prompted by thinking about carols and remembering “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”. Whatever the reason, I stepped outside and was transfixed. The logical part of my brain was telling me that the snow was dampening any noise, but my soul knew that the quiet was real…and a gift.

I walked to the north end of our property, positioning myself so none of the street or Christmas lights were visible. I turned my face to the sky and greeted the gently-falling snow. I just stood, not feeling the cold; not worrying about the snow clinging to my feet, my ankles, my hoodie. I just stood and breathed in the silence. The tears started for no reason that I can articulate. I knelt, because kneeling felt right. And I was still, because the night demanded it. And the peace that I experienced still resides in me; a timely reminder that busy-ness is part and parcel of our culture, but stillness is too often ignored, to our own detriment.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is in the United Methodist hymnal, but without this verse:

But with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing!

As the New Year approaches, my wish for you all, whatever your tradition, belief, or unbelief, is that you find moments to hush the noise and hear the “angels” sing.

About DoReMI 165 Articles
Now a Michigander, by way of Ohio, Illinois, Scotland, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Gardener. Sewer. Democrat. Resister.


  1. {{{DoReMI}}} – to be one with “god” is to be one with the Universe which is the heart of Peace. If we are loving people the pain and injustice we see around us sometimes puts us so very out of balance, so very disconnected from the Universe, that the Universe itself calls to us. If we heed the call, as you did, we will be brought to that place where we can reconnect. We are not forced to, but we are invited to. You heeded the call. You accepted the invitation. You are now reconnected to the Peace and Strength to see you through the coming year. moar {{{HUGS}}} and always Healing Energy to us all.

    • Beautifully said, bfitz; thank you. I don’t typically do New Year’s resolutions, but I think if I had one this year, it would be to listen for the invitation more often. When I visit my daughter, I always wake up before they do, and so I go outside and sit on their back patio. I just sit, listen to and watch the birds, and do nothing until I hear them moving around. The irony is that I too have a private backyard with a patio and could do the same thing at home. But more often than not, I’m hitting the snooze bar on my alarm and grasping for a few additional minutes of sleep. I need to rethink that and use the extra time to sit outside like I do at my daughter’s. Not on days like today though…sitting still when it’s 1 degree outside is a prescription for pain, not peace!

      • Sleep is also good. There always needs to be a balance between caring for your Spirit and caring for your animal body. The main thing to think about – if you are awake enough to be thinking at all when hitting the snooze bar :) – is “do I need a few more minutes of rest?” or “I so don’t want to face the day.” – if the former is the issue, hit that snooze bar. If the latter is, get up and go sit in the garden. Or whatever place of Peace you create in your house for whenever outside conditions would not allow you to connect to the Peace. moar {{{HUGS}}}

  2. Thank you, DoReMI, for one of the most beautiful, reflective posts I’ve read in a long while. Your experience sounds awe-inspiring: so glad you had it, and so glad you’ve shared it with us.

    And that snow scene above is just the perfect illustration. That’s what I like most about snow—the quietening of the day, the reflection it inspires.

    Happy New Year, friend.

  3. Afternoon Meese…Thanks Sher…Beautiful thread…I agree that we all have to pray to whatever it is we believe in…I’m an atheist so church isn’t going to do it for me but I still feel the need sometimes to talk to someone out there so I can gain the strength to keep moving forward…

    Thanks for the invite to dinner…I would have loved to have attended…

    • {{{Batch}}} – I’m always hesitant to even use the word prayer. It seems to mean different things to different people. But that feeling of connection, of being one with the Universe or god or All-in-All – whatever you call it, that to me is prayer. I can send you Healing Energy because I am one with the Universe and so are you. That is prayer. moar {{{HUGS}}}

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