Silence for too long, I know. And I promised (myself) to share words about light during this season of darkness, this time of short days and long nights … This evening, before the prayers are all whispered, the songs all sung, the matches struck, tapers lit, and flames blown out … tonight I make a beginning.
It is the last of the 8 nights of Hannukah, and just 10 days until Christmas. So many festivals and rituals also occur around this time of year, and all of them celebrate, one way or another, light. I will share excerpts from an interfaith service crafted by fellow Harvard Divinity Students over the next several days.
For tonight, let me just offer this excerpt of a poem first published in 1973.
‘A Winter Light’ by John Haines.
By candle or firelight
your face still holds
a mystery that once
filled caves with the color
of unforgettable beasts.
Every added flame brightens the darkness: each one. Small lights, burning together, create great brilliance and potency. As do we … vivid spirits, radiant lives … made incandescent together, setting each other alight with humor, hope, compassion, resilience, forgiveness, and love.