Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How the Light Comes ...

Hello, everyone! We have just passed Diwali, Hanukkah, St Nicholas Day, Bohdi Day, St Lucia's Day, the Winter Solstice and several other lesser known midwinter festivals. Soon, we will celebrate Christmas Day.

What is it that all these holidays have in common? The recognition of darkness and the coming of light. The hope for better times ahead when the days lengthen and ever more light will fill our lives.

For some, it is hard to imagine that the light will ever come again. Others are already dancing in anticipation. Others, still, see glimpses of light already here in the midst of the darkness. Whatever your situation this wintertide, whether you are healthy and happily gathering with loved ones, caring for family members struggling with illness or injury, grieving the death of a loved one, working long shifts to keep us all safe and well or withdrawing into the pain of your own burn out and compassion fatigue, may this holiday season, in some way, bring you the gift of light in the darkness.

How will that light come? Let me leave you with the gift of a blessing by Jan Richardson that responds to that very question, a blessing made more poignant this year as she grieves the sudden death of her husband, musician Garrison Doles:

How the Light Comes:
A Blessing for Christmas

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden
what is lost
what is forgotten
what is in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body
for finding its way
toward flesh
for tracing the edges
of form
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still

to the blessed light
that comes.

And for those of us fortunate enough to be living healthy, happy and well-lit lives this holiday season, may there be opportunities to share our light with those who are still caught up in a season of darkness.

From my heart to yours, a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas!

Love, Jan

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