Stray thoughts – A Reflection for the Season
Paddy Kavanagh, wrote often and beautifully about the meaning of Christmas and the presence of God in our lives.
For Kavanagh, childhood, poetry and theology were all of one piece. Everything he wrote, captured something of the mystery, of the incarnation – of Christmas. He wrote about the most common things which he saw as carrying hints of heaven.
His farm was the Bible. Country Monaghan was his Bethlehem. His poetry was his prayer. He had his Emmaus revelations along the Iniskeen Road.
For him, the Maker of an astonishing creation, could only be a beautiful and loving God, a tender Mother who ‘caresses the daily and nightly earth.’ The miracle of continuing Creation, of the renewal of the world each day and each season, filled him with a child’s wonder.
His most quoted lines are:
“God is in the bits and pieces of Everyday: A Kiss here, a laugh again, and sometimes tears.”
Kavanagh invites us to look at the world and to see beauty in the things we take for granted. He leads us forward “Until one day, we will recognise the face of our Christmas God of surprises and disguises everywhere.”
As a child, Kavanagh’s records his visits to the patch of wild weeds behind his house “where sows root and hens scratch” was like “dipping his fingers in the pockets of God.” Those pockets were his five senses and they were never empty. He reminds us in his poem ‘Advent’ that when the Christmas carols are over, – the music of life continues to touch our souls every day, if we are attuned to the beats.
Seamus Ahearne osa