We gather to pray for the return of the light. Teetering on the thin edge of light, entering fully into the darkness, there is no way out but through. Each year, we wrestle with this unwilled descent into shadow, each alone with it, facing down our individual darknesses.
And yet, we can, and we do, gather to pray for the return of light, for lightness of heart, for the luminescence of a full-throated summer sun, for a light spirit treading lightly in the world.
We cherish and trim our candles, and hold them high in the darkness. In this hearth-keeping, this light-kindling, we feel a long connection with women down through the ages who have worked, mightily, to do the same for the ones they love, and for themselves. And the light does not, did not, illuminate only—no, it throws off warmth as well, to thaw the deep chill and unfreeze the mind.
I wish so fervently to nourish an illuminating, warming life force in myself, to fan it into a bright flame, letting it penetrate all my being and all my doing, and then to project it bravely beyond myself. I pray for the return of the light, in my world and in the world.
Mary for the Poplar Grove Muse
from Our Solstice Sampler, December 19, 2013