1 Samuel 2:1-8 is a prayer of awe and wonder by Hannah after she gives birth to a son whom she had prayed for to God for many years. This prayer of rejoicing and thankfulness reminds me of a blessing from the book To Bless the Space Between Us called ‘In Praise of the Earth’. This blessing says:
“Let us bless the imagination of the Earth. That knew early the patience to harness the mind of time, waited for the seas to warm, ready to welcome the emergence of things dreaming of voyaging among the stillness of land. And how light knew to nurse the growth until the face of the Earth brightened beneath a vision of color. When the ages of ice come and sealed the Earth inside an endless coma of cold, the heart of the Earth held hope, storing fragments of memory, ready for the return of the sun. Let us thank the Earth that offers ground for home and holds our feet firm to walk in space open to infinite galaxies. Let us salute the silence and certainty of mountains: their sublime stillness, their dream-filled hearts. The wonder of a garden trusting the first warmth of spring until its black infinity of cells becomes charged with dream; then the silent, slow nurture of the seed’s self, coaxing it to trust the act of death. The humility of the Earth that transfigures all that has fallen of outlived growth. The kindness of the Earth, opening to receive our worn forms into the final stillness. Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth for all our sins against her: for our violence and poisonings of her beauty. Let us remember within us the ancient clay, holding the memory of seasons, the passion of the wind, the fluency of water, that warmth of fire, the quiver-touch of the sun and shadowed sureness of the moon. That we may awaken, to live to the full the dream of the Earth who chose us to emerge and incarnate its hidden night in mind, spirit and light.”
The author of this prayer seems to have the same relationship with Earth that Hannah has with God in this passage. In this blessing, Earth reflects the role that God plays in all our lives and played in Hannah’s life.
The season of advent always seems like a great time to reflect on the great works that God has done and to see the way God works in our lives like Hannah did in her prayer. I challenge you to join me in doing this.
Olivia Smith, ’21