“I am a little weary of my life…”
‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? It all depends. George MacDonald’s opening line for his December sonnets describes a state in which I find myself these days:
I am a little weary of my life….
He inquires about his weariness. Perhaps it’s from something that’s meant to be.
Shall fruit be blamed if it hang wearily
A day before it perfected drop plumb
To the sad earth from off its nursing tree?
Yet this analogy isn’t quite right. Even if he got here through “earth and air, through fire and water,” he isn’t one of them. His life is “not of this world.” He isn’t looking for home on this earth.
His weariness seems to come from some “unknown life” that’s “swelling at the core” of his being. Something wearying that causes him to “look to the door.”
Which brings us to our sonnet for December 5 and 6. This time he finds an apt analogy for his “little” weariness.
All winged things came from the waters first;
Airward still many a one from the water springs
In dens and caves wind-loving things are nursed:
I lie like unhatched bird, upfolded, dumb,
While all the air is trembling with the hum
Of songs and beating hearts and whirring wings,
That call my slumbering life to wake to happy things.
I lay last night and knew not why I was sad.
“’Tis well with God,” I said, “and God is the truth;
Let that content me” ‘Tis not strength, nor youth,
Nor buoyant health, nor a heart merry-mad,
That makes the fact of things wherein we live:
God is the life, and doth my life outgive;
In God there is no gloom, but all is solemn-glad.
In this Advent season leading up to Christmas I find myself thoughtful, on the edge of tears, moved by music in ways I don’t begin to understand. Not gloomy, but “solemn-glad” for life itself. Content. Waiting. Expectant. And strangely sad even when happy. Like an unhatched bird about to be awakened?
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 December 2014
George MacDonald, The Diary of an Old Soul, Augsburg Fortress Press 1994
First published as A Book of Strife in the Form of a Diary of an Old Soul, privately published 1880