I took the photo behind the page title this evening as the light of January 2, 2017, faded into the past. Of course, it always looks better in person, and it was a moment of blessing for me.
I need those.
I need the reminder that beauty, peace, humility, and love are stronger than ugliness, strife, arrogance, and hatred. Their power is deeper, stronger, and will outlast the winter of the mere moment.
Days are now growning longer, and I'm grateful. We still have our Christmas tree up, and its lights cheer the nighttime. This year we put it up earlier than usual, and it will be up for a few more days of Christmas, before the light of Epiphany takes its place. This tree has been a comfort while I've healed up following the surgery December 6th to replace two discs in my neck. We'd gotten the lights on it and had time to tie pretty red gingham and calico bows on its branches before the surgery, and while I'd intended to finish the decorating process when I felt better, somehow simplicity seemed....right. We never got our stockings hung, it doesn't matter this year. I needed the reminder to let go of outsized expectations and allow the simplicity itself to be a blessing.
I still don't have my energy back in its entirety, but that's okay, too. This afternoon I spent an hour stretched out on the couch, reading by the fireplace, with Bailey curled up quietly on top of my fee, keeping them warm. Dave had the day off, so he had the loveseat and a book, too. Companionable silence surrounded us, blessing "the space between us."
As you begin 2017, I would share with you a poem of blessing from the Irish poet and teacher, John O'Donohue.
A Blessing for the New Year (Beannacht) by John O’Donohue
"On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The gray window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colors,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the curragh of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life."
(from To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue ©2008, Doubleday)
Blessings to you, your loved ones, and your homes.