Short and long in the winter

December 23, 2011

From the rising of the midwinter sun to its setting
Scatter the darkness with the light of your love, O Shining One.
Make me short on mean thoughts, long on offering words of comfort
Make me short on being driven, long on paying attention
Make me short on focusing only on my own, long on looking beyond
Make me short on obsessive lists, long on spontaneous acts of kindness
Make me short on mindless activity, long on time to reflect
Make me short on tradition as a habit, long on re-discovery and re-owning
Make me short on rushing and tiring, long on walking and wondering
Make me short on false festive jollity, long on stilling and rooted joy
Make me short on guilt, long on being merciful to myself
Make me short on being overwhelmed, long on peaceableness as I set forth this day

– “A Mid-Winter Prayer” by Tess Ward, from The Celtic Wheel of the Year

The Ancient Womb

October 5, 2011

The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.

– John O’Donohue in Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom