Monday, September 30, 2013

Evening star

The Danish American Center in Minneapolis recently held its annual meeting. Being relatively new to this organization, I attended for the first time.
Danes love to sing, so we opened the meeting with a folksy-type song and ended with another, each written by a Danish composer.

The first song talked about oats. Sung from the oat's perspective, the lyrics spoke of all the things the oats see (sun, wind, rain) and the many uses oats have. It was snappy and fun to sing.
The second called Evening Star (printed above) was written in 1861. It had an easy melody for me, a non-singer and reader of music, to follow.

But it was the words that really spoke to me. They stuck in my head and I had to borrow a songbook from the center so I could copy this particular song.

Danish people see the beauty and prose in all of nature. Thinking you might enjoy the lessons in this lovely song, I share the words with you here.

" Evening star up yonder, Teach me like you to wander 
Willing and obediently, The path that God ordained for me.
Evening star up yonder!
Teach me, gentle flowers, To wait for springtime showers
In this winter world to grow, Green and strong beneath the snow.
Teach me, gentle flowers!
Teach me, lonely heather, Where songbirds nest together,
Though my life should seem unblest, To keep a song within my breast.
Teach me, lonely heather.
Mighty ocean, teach me, To do the task that needs me,
And reflect as days depart, Heaven's peace within my heart.
Mighty ocean, teach me!
Shady lanes, refreshing, Teach me to be a blessing
To some weary soul each day, Friends or foes who pass my way.
Shady lanes, refreshing!
Evening sun, descending, Teach me, when life is ending,
Night shall pass and I, like you, Shall rise again where life is new.
Teach me, sun descending! "
As the seasons change, now from summer to autumn, and the days grow shorter, nature is a wonder and can teach us so much. Each season has its purpose and its beauty. We can learn, as the song tells us, from the ocean, the heather, the sun and the shady lane.

When I once commented that there wasn't anything I liked about winter, a friend very poetically told me it was such a beautiful season, with all the trees and flowers and earth enjoying a peaceful rest, quietly readying themselves to burst forth and be alive again.
I've never looked at it quite the same since.