you know the wisdom of the rhythms.
Teach me the health of resting time as I walk out this short day.
Praise to you Undiminished One,
whose light the darkness can never put out;
whose growth is nurtured in hiddeness;
whose faithfulness never stands still or waxes cold;
whose life is the light of all that lives;
in whom love, honour, thanksgiving, prayer
and praise, to you.
From the rising of the midwinter sun to its setting,
scatter the darkness with the light of your love, O Shining One,
Make me short on mean thoughts, long on offering words of comfort.
Make me short on being driven, long on paying attention.
Make me short on focussing only on my own, long on looking beyond.
Make me short on obsessive lists, long on spontaneous acts of kindness.
Make me short on mindless activity, long on time to reflect.
Make me short on tradition as habit, long on re-discovery and re-owning.
Make me short on rushing and tiring, long on walking and wondering.
Make me short on false festive jollity, long on stilling and rooted joy.
Make me short on guilt, long on being merciful to myself.
Make me short on being overwhelmed, long on peaceableness as I set forth this day.
at this solstice time, where we leave a space to look back and look forward,
your mercy covers more than the white frosty sparkle on leafless trees.
Your love burnishes more than the scarlet sheen of hips and berries.
Your Spirit of life rejoices more than the confidence of green needles and leaves.
Be with all who wish to leave behind their years with the dying things.
Cover with your mercy, burnish with your love and rejoice with new life,
as we lay down the year we cannot change,
and offer our hopes and fears for the next.
May God’s face shine on me as I wait in hope for the returning life
in the dusky daylight hours of this short day.
(from Tess Ward, The Celtic Wheel of the Year: Celtic and Christian Seasonal Prayers)