We dwell each day in darkness longer than light. Soon, little by little, the light returns. The sun doesn’t clear the tall hemlocks until 9:15 am. It’s below the trees by one pm, so the shadows begin to grow early in the afternoon. This time of year I’m reminded of a Hanukkah many years ago, when my friend Bruce visited and realized it was the first night of Hanukkah. He dug out a very large carrot, sculpted holes with a potato peeler, and we had our Menorah. It remains, many years later, one of the sweetest rituals of this time of year for me.
This prayer is also another ritual. My daughter Jenny & I would read Tasha Tudor’s Christmas Book, and we’d be sure to read this aloud and think upon it and reflect. I’d like to share this prayer with you, from that book. May you have Joy. May you have Peace. May you be warm and safe.
I salute you! There is nothing
I can give you which you have not;
but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts
find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden
in this present instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow;
behind it yet, within our reach, is joy.
And so…I greet you with the prayer that for you,
now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
Written in a letter to a friend by Fra Giovanni.
Christmas Eve 1513 A.