The Peaceful Night

Long before the advent of Advent, people celebrated that time of year. The period marks the turning point from mid-winter towards harvest and was a time where re-birth symbolized the journey towards summer sun. This perhaps makes the celebration rather symbolically timed in Australia with the difficulties of bush-fire and drought, which the Antipodean sun brings.

“The Peaceful Night” combines Milton’s reflections on the evening when Christ was born, with two Australian texts celebrating the coming of daylight over the sea.  All three texts examine the emergence of light from darkness, the coming from night, winter, want, to the birth of sun, daylight and hope. To me, this is the essence of ‘Christmas’ or any other celebration at this time of year.

‘ Beauty is broken about the sky and into the earth below’ – Shaw Nielson