“The Shortest Day”, from a reader, Berowne

Sent by Berowne, from the “Revels”


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, revelling.
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.

I awoke after the shortest day to blazing sunlight, surely a promise of what is to come: Hope and Light.  Unseasonable weather, but since the woodpile is scattered all over a part of the property, and I haven’t stacked any yet….I’ll take it.

I also came across a poem, a Greeting to the Winter Solstice:

Brightener of Darkness, hail!

Keeper of Clearness, Opener of the Depths….

Gifts of plenty are arising,

Winter wonders, white snows’ fall.

Joyful be the heart within us,

Open wide the guesting door,

Wisdom wakens in abundance,

Warm our beings to the core.

From “Celtic Devotional” by Caitlin Matthews

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