Photo by Luc van Loon on Unsplash

Nature is my primary place of worship.  It’s where I go to quiet my mind, listen for guidance and reconnect with the part of my being that feels most alive.

So it probably doesn’t surprise you that this poem by Jan Richardson is one of  the more resonant new-to-me poems I’ve come across in a long time.

In this time of the longest night and at a moment in our collective journey that many in my network find their sense of optimism and conviction less easy to access .. Jan Richardson’s words feel like medicine.

My heart is deeply grateful to each of you on reading this.

Thank you for the work you do.
Thank you for all the ways you care.
Thank you for who you are.

May this time of year be a time of rest, renewal and connection for you and your love ones.

BLESSING FOR THE LONGEST NIGHT by Jan Richardson

All throughout these months,
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory,
by touch,
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you,
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you,
even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its
arriving
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away,
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

With love,

 

Paul