As Love's wellspring of inspiration is finding its saturation point...deeper and deeper within the bedrock of this fathomless stillness...I have found such joy in sharing what has already found its voice...on this blog, and through the writings of some of my dearest friends.
Their very beautiful and inspired posts have, over the years, brought me to my knees in humility, found me doubled over with laughter, caught me smiling with delight, and left me weeping in amazement at their experiences...and the grace with which they have shared them with us.
So, with their permission, I am delighted to be able to share some of these holiday "favorites" with you... and, if you look carefully over this next month, you might find a couple of my older pieces, like simple threads of cotton, woven between their strands of gold...
"Christmas ponderings and dawnings...."
by Joni Overton-Jung
My dog Kosi and I were out walking in the crisp winter air last night. Though I'll admit I have my struggles with winter sometimes, it was one of those nights when the sky is so clear, the air so fresh, everything speaks of the imminence, nowness, grandeur, joy of life. I found myself thinking, I love winter. I thought of my brother's visit last year and his recent comment, "I do remember the joy of feeling the breath, and I mean the long deep breath of winter. The ponderous throw of time, huddled in."
The breath, the life, the certainty, clarity, urgency of it all pressing in upon us, or perhaps embracing, sustaining, compelling, lifting, illumining.
This poem and carol by Phillips Brooks to me captures the pure power of Christmas–where in the deep, hidden, innermost places of our hearts we find our longings answered, hopes fulfilled, and the quiet, inevitable emergence of a spiritual peace, an undiminished innocence, a soaring exaltation of unfettered life.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth;
Where charity stands watching
And faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given;
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meekness will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
In an article on Christmas MB Eddy says this, "The star that looked lovingly down on the manger of our Lord, lends its resplendent light to this hour: the light of Truth to cheer, guide, and bless man as he reaches forth for the infant idea of divine perfection dawning upon human imperfection,–that calms man's fears, bears his burdens, beckons him on to Truth and Love and the sweet immunity these bring from sin, sickness, and death. "
The light of that star in this very hour–the stars, the air, everything alive pulsing with the imminence of Truth–embracing, propelling, cheering, guiding, blessing, a showering of praise, a benediction of love, a message of: you, each, each and every single one of you are beloved, My beloved.
In this intense season of hopes, yearnings, fears, and extravagant giving, may each one of us make room for the dawning of something simple, holy, shining, the light of the infinite whispering, comforting, nurturing, igniting the embers of our essential and magnificent lives.
copyright - Joni Overton-Jung 2009
Here is Sara McLachlan, performing one of my favorite versions of the classic carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," which Joni references the lyrics to in her post....thank you Joni for sharing this lovely piece. always,