Have you ever gone for a walk early in the morning and noticed the leaves and flowers with a gentle covering of moisture on them? I am sure it didn’t rain during the night!
Or, you have been for a walk along the beach on an early summer morning and paused to sit awhile and need to wipe a gentle layer of dampness off the seat?
In the forest of early morning, there is the sound of a persistent drip!
It is called dewfall.
Each evening, the earth cools, and the moisture in the atmosphere transforms into condensation, forming the dew that will cover the ground,
The dew manages to reach each and every blade of grass, piece of clover, twig, sleeping caterpillar, car, and item left out on the clothesline, dead leaf, bottle cap, pebble and furled up fern that happens to be outdoors — every single one, for miles and miles. All those tiny drops! If it’s there, the dew is going to cover it.
In lands prone to aridity, the morning dew is a vital gift for the agricultural cycle, especially in the hot summer months. For them, it stood for cleansing, renewal and regeneration.
In our Scriptures, “like the dewfall” is a powerful image. We find it in psalms and prophecies and prayers of blessing.
In the prophet Hosea, we read, “God spoke through Hosea: “I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: He shall blossom like the lily” (Hos. 14:5-6).
In Eucharistic Prayer II, at the moment known as “The Epiclesis”, the presider prayers:
“Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall.”
Traditionally we have strong, powerful images for the Holy Spirit and for Pentecost, eg wind and tongues of fire.
This Pentecost, I invite into an alternate image of the Holy Spirit – dewfall.
The Spirit, as the dewfall, arrives in a very quiet, unseen, mysterious unobtrusive, indiscriminate, and gentle way, Like the natural dew, the Spirit reaches everywhere, everything, and everyone.
Tonight, as the earth cools and the moisture in the atmosphere transforms into condensation, forming the dew that will cover the ground, let us pray that God’s Spirit rest on us as gentle dewfall.