Thursday, December 17, 2009


Whence comes this rush of wings afar,
Following straight the Noel star?

Birds from the woods in wondrous flight,

Bethlehem seek this Holy Night.
"Tell us, ye birds, why come ye here,

Into this stable, poor and drear?"

"Hast'ning we seek the newborn King,

And all our sweetest music bring."
Angels and shepherds, birds o' the sky,

Come where the Son of God doth lie;

Christ on earth with man doth dwell,

Join in the shout, “Noël, Noël!”
—French carol from Bas-Quercy,
“Whence Comes This Rush of Wings?”

[The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmaspoem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]


Wanda said...

The Song Sparrow spends the winter feeding on my porch, along with the Wrens, Juncos, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Cardinals. A "rush of wings"...They have a peaceful quality to their song, so good choice to represent this beautiful poem, I think.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


As I write this, one of my two all-time favorite birds—a whitethroated sparrow—is sitting on my window ledge, singing his lovely sad-sweet song while the rising sun paints a golden varnish on the sycamores along the bank.

Gail said...

HI Grizz-
Your eloquent descript comment of the white-throated-sparrow is a "tough act to follow". :-)

" birds—a whitethroated sparrow—is sitting on my window ledge, singing his lovely sad-sweet song while the rising sun paints a golden varnish on the sycamores along the bank."

my goodness - the blend of words is amazing!!!

So I will add that this morning, as I fed my birds and other brave critters I could see them waiting along the woods edge - I love that they "know" :-)

Great picture Grizz and lovely, lovely, words. And so the anticipation heightens.

Love to you

Courtney said...

Every day I think, THIS IS MY FAVORITE!!!!

So, THIS IS MY FAVORITE! I'm sure tomorrow's will be my favorite, too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely little French carol Scribe.
I remembered immediately a carol we learned in French at school - Quelle est cette odour agreable - gosh that brought back memories.

Bernie said...

Wanda's porch and your window sound so peaceful...I haven't seen or heard a bird in days and it has warmed up tremendously but my arthritis is telling me we have more snow on the way......another beautiful poem Grizz.....:-) Hugs

Only I would of thought I seen the moon in your last post, what was I thinking?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


I've been out finishing up Christmas shopping all day. But not long after my return, just as the sun was setting, the ducks paddled over to this side of the river and began quacking at full volume for supper. I'd fed them breakfast before leaving, of course. But you're right—they do know, of things, and in ways, that we can't imagine.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


I think "my" sparrow is adorable, and the photo did seem to fit a bit with the verse. I'm glad you keep liking each post more and more—but today's, in my opinion, might be a tough one to top.

You'll have to let me know…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


I can't remember where I first heard this carol or came across the verses. But I've always liked it. Funny how some things trigger other memories, isn't it?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


No snow here yet—though maybe some flurries in the next few days. In a way, I envy you your storms, so long as you're warm and comfortable.

Hey, that moon-in-the-clouds was just a case of wishful looking. But I want you to know…I wouldn't have said a thing except it just didn't feel right for me to accept your nice compliment of my photographing a nonexistent moon.