Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blessing for the Longest Night ...

Those of you who have attended my workshops will know of my love for the notion of blessing. Blessings, according to Celtic teacher and poet, John O'Donohue, are circles of light drawn around people to protect, heal and strengthen.

In the past, I have shared with you some blessings written by John O'Donohue. Today I would like to offer you a Solstice blessing from the writings of United Methodist minister, Jan L. Richardson. May it be a gift to all who live "long nights" during the holiday season.

Blessing for the Longest Night

All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark, 
travelling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me 
when I  tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you even though you cannot 
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its 
by your release
of the breath
you have held so long;
a loosening of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows 
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means to travel
in the company 
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that every direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

Copyright - Jan L. Richardson

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