It's always a nerve-wracking moment, starting a new psalm embroidery. This is the little heap of stuff I've assembled for the start of psalm 133. It's very ordinary-looking stuff, because I think the idea in this psalm is that of ordinary things being transformed by the addition of ingredient X. Dwelling in unity, oil for anointing, and life-giving dew that turns into life-giving streams. What would life be without the things represented here? We all know what life is like when harmony is disrupted; and without the sweetness of the celebratory things in our faith that sustain us, in my case sung evensong comes high; and we can only imagine what it must be like to have to go and fetch water from some far-away well as opposed to a fresh mountain spring or its equivalent for us, and not to be able to trust its quality. Even though there are only three or four verses in this psalm, its scope of reference is huge. Family/social harmony, the joyous binding together of a community in faith and ritual, and the maintenance of healthy life itself. I doubt I can do it justice.
I was pleased to discover, then, that I could see a few pairs of ordinary things for the base layer, which are to be transformed by an over-layer of the three transforming presences of oil and water and harmony. I see (1) kindred flesh/Aaron's clothes (though these are a bit posh); (2) rock/green growth; (3) hair on the head/beard. The numbers 3 and 2 keep cropping up, which is pleasing to a pattern-seeker. Only yesterday, a woman from Belgium in a lovely blue frock passed through our church, saying she was considering moving here, and it made me see for the first time that there was corresponding blue in the hanging crucifix; and also a friend turned up out of the blue with a blue basket for me! The day was transformed by 3 blue things. Now I have to transform that heap of stuff above into another something-to-show, by the addition of ingredient Y. It's not easy, I tell 'ee.