Hello Friends. This most recent "holiday season" (during wintertime on my side of the globe), I've felt rather quiet. Still, we did take some time for ritual, practice, and celebration. It's been a time of embracing the dark, while looking for the light. There have been cold moments, nevertheless the warmth and brightness are also present.
In that spirit, here are The Care Neighborhood's Wintertide blessings for you and yours.
Tidings of comfort and joy.
I originally shared this on January 6, which is Epiphany or the 12th Night of Christmas in some traditions. On that same day, there was a violent insurrection at US Capitol. And the tone of the blessings mixed oddly with the day. However, to me, one holiday reflection that resonates in this time...
In 1863, in the midst of the American Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote Christmas Bells. He expresses his bewilderment at the refrain of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men" with the nation divided and the horrors of war raging. Now, I find hope in the final stanza--although I do not believe in a deity--as I think of "God" as symbolic for goodness, truth, love. I want to be cautious with hope, and stay away from trying to pacify troubles with sentiment and ignorant optimism. Peace and goodwill are concepts that we humans can work for in responsibility toward one another. And justice is the accompaniment of peace. (We'll expand these thoughts in a future post, I'm sure.) For now...
Here is an excerpt from the end of Longfellow's poem:
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."