Bowing to 2020 – December


Coming to December, I found myself coming full circle.  I started with reflection and I end with reflection.  It was rain on a windshield in January and in December it was color reflected on a wall.  I started with a light(saber) in February and ended with a light (candle) in December.  In both of these images, there is sadness and grief.  The one of the many colors was only possible because of the flooding we had in the basement – the previous wall color never reflected the colors in the way that it does now.  The other was only possible because it was a way of sharing the candlelighting on Christmas Eve even as we were not in person together.  Each of those lights in the image is a tealight candle taped to the back edge of a pew in a darkened sanctuary in mid-December.   But in the midst of the reasons behind them, there is still beauty.   So, as 2020 has come to a close and 2021 has began, I do bow to what 2020 was.  I bow to the ways that I was changed through this past year.  I bow to the grief and the sorrow and the loss and the anger.   I bow to the healing and the beauty and the hope.  I bow to 2020 and know that it will always be a part of me (and a part of all of us).   But as I turn toward 2021, I want to offer a prayerful blessing that my dear friend Lisa shared on New Year’s Eve that I feel captures so much of all of this.  

It is called Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year by John O’Donohue (Beannacht means “blessing” in Gaelic.  Also, the inscription below is from the poem itself). There is also a video below of him reading the poem.

For Josie

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours.
May the clarity of light be yours.
May the fluency of the ocean be yours.
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you.
An invisible clock
to mind your life.

Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year. Published in To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings. By John O’Donohue.
Categories: 2020Tags: , , , , ,

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