Monday, December 28, 2009

Shelter from the Storm

We've passed through the darkest days of the year and now the daylight will stay with us a little longer and longer.

I am slowly moving out of listening to Christmas music - which I've been hearing hither and yon since Halloween - by transitioning with classical Christmas-themed compositions. As much as I love certain songs, I am growing weary of "traditional" Christmas music at this point (although the Sarah McLachlan CD "Wintersong" and Loreena McKennit's holiday fare are still in heavy rotation on my iPod). So I've been listening to some classical, some jazz and some New Age music that while not specifically Christmas still creates a nice mood approriate for the season. But I've also been digging through this and that from the past, and this song kind of struck me as I was listening recently - "Shelter from the Storm" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fBhheBjQ2I) by Bob Dylan...

Shelter from the Storm (Bob Dylan)

'Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured
I'll always do my best for her, on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved.
Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail,
Poisoned in the bushes an' blown out on the trail,
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Suddenly I turned around and she was standin' there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair.
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Now there's a wall between us, somethin' there's been lost
I took too much for granted, got my signals crossed.
Just to think that it all began on a long-forgotten morn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
But nothing really matters much, it's doom alone that counts
And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

I've heard newborn babies wailin' like a mournin' dove
And old men with broken teeth stranded without love.
Do I understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn?
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation an' they gave me a lethal dose.
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Well, I'm livin' in a foreign country but I'm bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor's edge, someday I'll make it mine.
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

A friend of mine is struggling with their partner's failing health. Another friend's mother is working through health issues. Another is struggling with the changing dynamic of their family, and another is challenged by how they will relate to their family in the future. The list goes on.

We all need shelter from the storm. We all need people in our lives to help us through the darkest days and give us hope. Especially this time of year, when many focus on joy and happiness others are struggling to find light in the darkness. We all need someone to walk beside us, take us by the hand, hold us up when we falter, hug us when we feel sad and alone. Shelter us from the storm.

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