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Thursday December 8, 2022
The first Christmas after Joan died, I decided not to put away all the Christmas decorations. They spoke to me of warmth in winter, of caring and compassion, of togetherness – themes I desperately needed that first year of Covid-19 isolation.
So, for the last three years, a small ceramic Christmas tree has been sitting on a table in my front hall. It’s not much of a tree – about 12 inches high, dark green, with whitish snowflakes on the ends of its branches. A light bulb inside shines out through coloured plastic plugs stuck into holes in the branches.
If I’m going out at night, I turn it on before I leave. When I come home again, it welcomes me back, glowing softly in the darkened entry.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: darkness, light, Christmas tree, Lorraine
This poem started with an unusually early snowfall. I’ll tell you the rest of the story after you read the poem.
Snow falls softly on cedars;
fat white flakes sift down, pile up;
branches bend, protest in pain;
white cones burden bunched berries;
autumn grass falls flat below
an ermine cloak; drifting specks
draw a veil across distance.
Tags: darkness, Snow, campfire
I woke during the night, a while ago, with my mind racing. It was very dark. Heavy clouds hid the moon and stars. Our rural area has no street lights. And at 3:00 a.m., no neighbouring houses had any lights on.
Rather than tossing and turning, and probably waking Joan, I got out of bed, and went to our living room where I could look out the front windows.
I could see a few lights across the lake. I could make out the vague reflective sheen of the lake, the darker bulk of the hills on the far side, some humps that might be bushes in our garden.
Nothing moved. It was very peaceful. Almost holy.
` After a while, calmed and quieted, I decided I could go back to bed.
Tags: darkness, dying, death, doorways
Next Wednesday, the church Season of Epiphany will end.
All through Epiphany, church services have focused on the coming of light – like the lightbulb that used to go on over cartoon characters’ heads when they got an idea.
Light is important. But I found myself wondering, one evening during a quiet, contemplative worship service, why we ignore darkness.
Darkness is also important. Seeds germinate in darkness. During the hours of darkness, our bodies recover so we can face a new day. We cuddle loved ones in darkness.
During that contemplative service, most of the church was dark. We gathered in a softly lit circle, around a candle, feeling ourselves wrapped in a shawl of darkness. We felt close.
Most families have fond memories of sitting around a campfire, watching the flames dance, watching the firelight flicker on children’s faces.
Light and darkness are partners, not enemies.
Tags: darkness, light, epiphany
Tags: goodness, darkness