Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Ramblings

I went to Mass and sang with the other guys as usual: Vidi aquam, the Sunday Propers, Mass I, Credo I, and some psalm-verses with the Communion; for hymns before and after, we had "Now thank we all our God" and - a new favourite of mine, having only learned it this year - "Through the Red Sea brought at last" (tr. Ronald Knox):

Through the Red Sea brought at last, alleluia!
Egypt's chains behind we cast, alleluia!
Deep and wide
Flows the tide
Severing us from bondage past, alleluia!

Like the cloud that overhead, alleluia!
Through the billows Israel led, alleluia!
By his tomb
Christ makes room,
Souls restoring from the dead, alleluia!

In that cloud and in that sea, alleluia!
Buried and baptised were we, alleluia!
Earthly night
Brought us light
Shall be ours eternally, alleluia!

Then, deceitful world, adieu, alleluia!
Egypt’s land in distant view, alleluia!
Christ our love,
Draws above,
Dead with him, and risen anew, alleluia!

After Mass, outside with the milling congregants, a startling sight - Fr Rowe cradling a pet ferret! One of the young ladies had brought the family pets in for "show and tell"... They look kinda cute, but the teeth and their sinuous movement were a teeny bit offputting.

In the afternoon, I finally got around to driving out to John Forrest National Park, astride the escarpment on the edge of the city, and going for my favourite walk along the old railway tracks up past the falls. But behold! In the months since I'd last been up there, a bushfire had gone through part of the terrain, leaving the undergrowth burnt bare, tho' the blackboys [grasstrees] and gumtrees have put forth new leaves from their charred trunks. And furthermore, despite a record rainfall this April - 145 mm [Update: 153.6mm] - the creek through the valley was at best a few disconnected pools, and all the side streams and pools I remember were dry; and as for the waterfall, it was gone, and I walked over its stones. It was still a good walk, just beautiful out in the bush, in a landscape so old, a walk only about 50 minutes each way, and I even saw some kangaroos, plus enjoyed an icecream at the kiosk. Note to self: Must go to the pub there for a meal and beer sometime...

On the way home, I heard that poignant ballad "And the band played Waltzing Matilda" (Eric Bogle, 1972) on the car radio, and must include it as the just rejoinder to any inane glorification of the terror and horror of war, that scourge that may need be borne, but ought never be asked for:

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