Season of Light

From my December Newsletter: To subscribe visit

During the holy month of December when many of us celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, and/or Solstice, I’ve been reflecting on light. This time of year is often referred to as the ‘Season of Light,’ wherein we drape an array of lights throughout home and hearth. In the Jewish tradition, the menorah is brought out for ceremonial lighting. These days I’ve been imagining what it was like two thousand years ago for our ancestors before electricity and the ubiquitous presence of illuminated devices nestled neatly into the palms of our citizenry. Sitting before the blazing fire in the wood stove today, I was thinking of those dark nights many moon cycles ago. I reflected on the ancient Jewish celebration of Hanukkah and of the oil that ‘should’ have burned for only one day and the miracle that it lasted for eight. I imagined three holy men, or Magi who were Zoroastrian (from Persia, what is now known as Iran) priests and astronomers following the stars to honor the birth of a vessel born to bring light in a time of darkness. Jesus, bearer of love and hope. I envisioned our earth-honoring ancestors celebrating the darkest night of the year around a sacred fire while remembering the return of the light over the coming months.

While studying the world’s spiritual traditions in graduate school, I was surprised and de-lighted to discover the many common threads that weave themselves throughout all our faith traditions including those with our earth-honoring brothers and sisters. These sacred texts affirmed for me that no matter what path we are called to follow, we are all interconnected in the web of creation. We are indeed all One. May all beings know peace, may all beings know love. May it be so.

Mother, Father, God, Universal Power
Remind us daily of the sanctity of all life.

Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness
of all creation,
As we strive to respect all the living beings
on this planet.

Penetrate our souls with the beauty
of this earth,
As we attune ourselves to the rhythm
and flow of the seasons.

Awaken our minds with the knowledge to
achieve a world in perfect harmony
And grant us the wisdom to realize that we
can have heaven on earth.

-Jo Poore (Earth Prayers from Around the World)

How are you celebrating the light this season?

The Dark Hours

I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.

Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another life that’s wide and timeless.

So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over a gravesite
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots

a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.

–Ranier Maria Rilke
(Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God, trans. by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Art and Science of Belonging

From Orion Magazine article: Field Books: Working the liminal space between art and science.

“Science, I sometimes think, is a language of explaining, whereas art is a language of belonging. These are complementary endeavors, not exclusive ones. Explaining is, after all, a way of belonging, And art, like science, is a way of understanding the world. However, it increasingly seems that the sciences and humanities are retreating into specialized vocabularies that make each discipline foreign to the other and both of them inaccessible to the general public, who nonetheless must be moved by science and art if we are to have any chance of forestalling catastrophic changes in the natural world. Now more than ever we need those rare individuals who can navigate both disciplines, the artists and scientists who can observe, represent, and call our attention back to the living world.”-Erick Reece