It is the first day of the liturgical year for many Orthodox Christians. In church we sang the Akathist Hymn of Thanksgiving, “Glory to God for All Things.” Following, because our rector had decided for several reasons to do a water blessing today, we continued to sing the hymns and psalms and prayers of that service. The giant urn such as we also use on Theophany was in the middle of the church; afterward we drank some of the water out of punch cups. All this thanksgiving and praise and infilling made for a very rich morning.
While we were singing inside the little old church,
right outside the anemones were in full bloom,
glorifying God in their own lovely way.
“As for the fascination of rain for the water drinker, it is a fact the neglect of which I simply cannot comprehend. The enthusiastic water drinker must regard a rainstorm as a sort of universal banquet and debauch of his own favourite beverage.
“Think of the imaginative intoxication of the wine drinker if the crimson clouds sent down claret or the golden clouds hock. Paint upon primitive darkness some such scenes of apocalypse, towering and gorgeous skyscapes in which champagne falls like fire from heaven or the dark skies grow purple and tawny with the terrible colours of port.
“All this must the wild abstainer feel, as he rolls in the long soaking grass, kicks his ecstatic heels to heaven, and listens to the roaring rain. It is he, the water drinker, who ought to be the true bacchanal of the forests; for all the forests are drinking water. Moreover, the forests are apparently enjoying it: the trees rave and reel to and fro like drunken giants; they clash boughs as revellers clash cups; they roar undying thirst and howl the health of the world.”