the shortest day – Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us — listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Quote: The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
Images: Susan Cooper and artist Carson Ellis celebrate in The Shortest Day (public library) — an illustrated resurrection of Cooper’s 1974 poem by the same title, originally composed for John Langstaff’s beloved Christmas Revel shows, which fuse medieval and modern music in grassroots theatrical productions across local communities.
From – The Marginalian
We have just seen the last full moon for 2021. It is known as the Cold Moon. It shines as to announce the coming of the shortest day of the year. The solstice is upon us. A threshold of sorts and all begins again…
There are times when,
If the circumstances are just right,
Like a full moon,
A light rain,
Twilight, or fog,
There is a momentary crossing
From time to timelessness,
Form to Formless,
Blood and bone to earth and rock,
Past and future to present.
Where the atoms, the molecules of me
Forget to stop
From fusing into the earth and other places
Where I am not lost, but found,
Not part, but whole,
No longer longing for myself.
Quote: Parker Palmer
Photo: Unknown Traveller on Unsplash
Poem found at mindfulbalance.com
In-between the sun and moon,
I sit and watch
and make some room
for letting light and twilight mingle,
and making single glances last eternity,
a little more,
extending love beyond the doors of welcoming,
while wedding all the parted people,
even sons to violent mothers,
and searching all the others finding light
where twilight lingers,
in-between the sun and moon.
In celebration of twilight, dusk and dawn as they wait patiently for one another on this Solstice eve.
Poem: Padraig O’ Tauma
Image: Unknown (Google Images)
Near a window, I watch the shortest day slowly surrender its light to this winter solstice. In the settling darkness there is an air of calm, of quiet. I welcome the hushed darkness of this evening. In the quiet I listen for an invitation to bring the ‘stretches of life’ together. To gather the scattered pieces of my life into one place.
This night does not call for judgment. Comforted by the warmth of home and a candle’s glow, this longest winter night calls for compassion, for acceptance.
Before me is all that’s been accomplished and all left undone. In this quiet darkness, there is time to let go, time to rest from the hard work of balancing life’s scattered pieces.
Dusk is now long gone. Looking to the sky the stars fill the darkness with points of light. There in the sky is the promise of light’s return.
I invite you to pause on this night. To welcome these dark hours and honor your work. To feel gratitude for all you have accomplished. To rest, knowing that light will soon return.