I came across this passage in one of Dorothy Day’s monthly columns for the Catholic Worker paper the other day, written when she was staying with her daughter before the birth of her third grandchild:
“It has been a month of ‘ice, rains, snow and stormy winds,’ and every morning after the routine of fires, breakfasts and dressing has taken place, Becky, Susie and I rock in the wicker chair and sing, ‘All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; oh ye ice and snow, oh ye cold and wind, oh ye winter and summer, oh ye trees in the woods, oh ye fire in the stove, oh ye Becky and Susie, bless ye the Lord, praise Him and magnify Him forever.’ It is a song with infinite variations. You can include Mr. Clark’s cows, Leslie’s horses, the Hennessy goats, and all the human beings for miles around…What are we here for anyway except to praise Him, to adore Him and to thank Him? … and there is plenty to remind us of that in the country.”
-Dorothy Day, On Pilgrimage (in the CW paper – not the book) March 1948
We have our own verses to add lately. (Because of course you don’t have to be in the country to come up with more.)
Swallowtails and zinnias, bless the Lord.
Sprouts and seedlings, bless the Lord.
And as Hurricane Ida gets here, it will be winds and rains, bless the Lord. Fortissimo.
It’s a good reminder: we aren’t on Earth just to work and to suffer, we are here to praise God. Last week our praise (besides morning prayer) included our school work and dance and play-doh and some spent-grain bread; next week I expect it will include fallen-limb removal.
The pre-hurricane preparations are finished, except for the boards for the picture window, which we’ll do tonight. And then comes the waiting. And we get to be reminded just how small and not in control we are.