I’m not sure if it’s the muscle relaxers and anti-viral meds I’m on because of a weird virus that hit me late last week, or Charlottesville, or something else, but I just can’t grok this hymn this morning. I don’t get the tune (by Dede Duson, commissioned for this hymnal), and while I intellectually understand there is value in the lyrics by Unitarian Universalist minister John Godfrey MacKinnon, they speak not to my heart and soul at all.
Ye earthborn children of a star amid the depths of space,
the cosmic wonder from afar within your minds embrace.
Look out, with awe, upon the art of countless living things;
the counterpoint of part with part, as nature’s chorus sings.
Beyond the wonder you have wrought within your little time,
the knowledge won, the wisdom sought, the ornaments of rhyme.
Seek deeper still within your souls and sense the wonder there;
the ceaseless thrust to noble goals of life, more free and fair.
Ye earthborn children of a star who seek and long and strive,
take humble pride in what you are: be glad to be alive.
If I were feeling better, I might be able to interrogate them and consider the theological implications. Right now, a baffling tune and a cosmic lyric – combined with this spacy head and weeping heart – just don’t click for me.
Sorry, folks. You’re welcome to take a stab at it in my stead.
I will add this: the aurora borealis in the photo is named Steve. For real.
PS: This weird illness is also why I haven’t finished tagging all the hymns yet. In time, good friends, in time.
This text works pretty well sung to the tune of Amazing Grace.