People, look East, the time is near
of the crowning of the year
Make your house fair as you are able,
trim the hearth and set the table.
People look East and sing today,
Love, the Guest, is on the way!
Yesterday morning I was atop a ridge near the Delaware water gap, near the Appalachian Trail. The trees were stripped of their leaves, and even as noon approached, the sun was low in the sky. A bare, almost lifeless scene - broken only by some brilliant red berries on a bush down the hill. I stood outside for 5 minutes, then suddenly realized that the few leaves clinging doggedly to the tree in front of me were moving. No breeze? Why were they stirring? Tiny warblers, faintly green and brown and almost indistinguishable from the leaves were flitting from branch to branch. One chirped and suddenly I could hear dozens of them, calling to each other across the mountainside.
For the rest of the day, Eleanor Farjeon's carol, "People, Look East!" kept popping up on my mental playlist. "Furrows be glad, though earth is bare..." soars up a full octave in two measures, evoking for me the carols of those playful warblers.
So as you make your house fair for the coming of Christ, enjoy this choir's rendition and tell us how you are "prepared the way" in song today!