At Starbucks writing, when “Morning has broken” comes on the speaker. It is one of my favorite hymns of all time. Good hymns are insight set to music. This hymn reminds us that living religion is never about another place and time. Living religion is about awakening to the miracle of the here and now.
Morning has broken, like the first morning Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird Praise for the singing, praise for the morning Praise for the springing fresh from the word
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven Like the first dewfall, on the first grass Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning Born of the one light, Eden saw play Praise with elation, praise every morning God’s recreation of the new day
In “Morning has broken” Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) sang about creation in the way the myth should be heard. Who cares if the world was seven days or fourteen billion years? The most materialistic scientist can affirm the meaning of this hymn: we live in a kaliascope of wonder. Eden need not be not a place in time and space. Eden can be a level of awareness available in the most ordinary moments. Heaven need not be a land outside of time. Heaven can be a quality deep within every moment. The hymn reminds us that wonder lies everywhere hidden, like a treasure discoverable to any who can muster childlike reverence for the mundane.