Where light begins

WHERE THE LIGHT BEGINS

A Blessing for Christmas Day

Perhaps it does not begin.

Perhaps it is always.
Perhaps it takes
a lifetime
to open our eyes,
to learn to see
what has forever
shimmered in front of us—

the luminous line
of the map
in the dark
the vigil flame
in the house
of the heart
the love
so searing
we cannot keep
from singing,
from crying out
in testimony
and praise.

Perhaps this day
will be the mountain
over which
the dawn breaks.
Perhaps we
will turn our face
toward it,
toward what has been
always.

Perhaps
our eyes
will finally open
in ancient recognition,
willingly dazzled,
illuminated at last.
Perhaps this day
the light begins
in us.


Quote: Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Image: “Where the Light Begins” © Jan Richardson

Courage

On a day when the word “courage” is being spoken all over the country… I thank Jan Richardson for these words.

 

BLESSING OF COURAGE

I cannot say

where it lives,

only that it comes

to the heart

that is open,

to the heart

that asks,

to the heart

that does not turn away.

It can take practice,

days of tugging at

what keeps us bound,

seasons of pushing against

what keeps our dreaming

small.

When it arrives,

it might surprise you

by how quiet it is,

how it moves

with such grace

for possessing

such power.

But you will know it

by the strength

that rises from within you

to meet it,

by the release

of the knot

in the center of

your chest

that suddenly lets go.

You will recognize it

by how still

your fear becomes

as it loosens its grip,

perhaps never quite

leaving you,

but calmly turning

into joy

as you enter the life

that is finally

your own.

 

—Jan Richardson from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Image: “Gift of Courage” © Jan 

the place between

BLESSING FOR THE PLACE BETWEEN

When you come
to the place between.

When you have left
what you held
most dear.

When you are traveling
toward the life
you know not.

When you arrive
at the hardest ground.

May it become
for you
a place to rest.

May it become
for you
a place to dream.

May the pain
that has pressed itself
into you
give way
to vision,
to knowing.

May the morning
make of it
an altar,
a path,
a place to begin
again.


Quote: Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Photo: Bud Holland