Solstice Blessing

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In the shadowed quiet of winter’s light
earth mourns softly…

Kneel down here
on the frosty grass,
and seek the hope buried in the ground.

Bend your ear to the beating heart of the planet
and listen hard.

A whisper: love this world.

Distill peace from the snow
and water the cities
with mercy.

Weave wonder from the forest
and clothe grief
with beauty.

Rest in the rhythm of the turning year,
trace the golden threads
connecting all beings,
and vow anew to do no harm.

The winter trees stand watch
haloed in the last gleams of the slanting sun.

Branches sway.
Birds sing.
Wonder abounds.

Make your life an answer:
Pay Attention.
Be Connected.
Live in Awe.

adapted from  Rebecca Parker’s A Winter Blessing
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Simply Wait

by Lee Ransaw

by Lee Ransaw

I used this quote from the brilliant writer Franz Kafka as the closing words at last Sunday’s service at the UU Congregation of Durham.  We were exploring the idea of finding space for true relaxation in our lives.  This summed it up perfectly.

Blessing    from Franz Kafka

You don’t need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.

Don’t even listen, simply wait.
Don’t even wait, be quite still and solitary.

The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked,
it has no choice,
it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

In the coming weeks, let the world offer itself to you.
Simply wait.

In praise of salad….

This blessing by UU minister Nancy Shaffer brings with it memories of spring salads filled with bright green lettuce fresh from the fields of local farmers.

Field at Table

When I begin to bless this food
and close my eyes I lose myself
first just in green: how
do leaves grow themselves this
green and how do they
grow at all to be so large and
how do they make themselves from
soil which in itself is only brown and
sunlight helps and water but
how is the end of this, green? How
can I bless this food? It blesses me.

Thank you, I say, for this bowl
which also is field, this green
which is meal before
I eat. Thank you, I say,
that this green becomes me.
Thank you for mysteries, this life.

First Salad of the Season

First Salad of the Season (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

Blessed be carrot and cow…

On grey January days when the snow steadily drifts down and the winds blow, I’m thankful for a warm house and a steaming bowl of veggie and bean stew.   In honour of winter crockpots, this is an excerpt from a poem by poet and Episcopal priest  Alla Rene Bozarth.

Blessing of the Stew Pot

photo from diabeticfoodie.com

photo from diabeticfoodie.com

…Blessed be carrot and cow,
potato and mushroom,
tomato and bean,
parsley and peas,
onion and thyme,
garlic and bay leaf,
pepper and water,
majoram and oil,

and blessed be fire —
and blessed be the enjoyment
of nose and eye,
and blessed be color —
and blessed be the Creator
for the miracle of grean bean,
for the miracle of fawn mushrooms,
and blessed be God
for the miracle of earth:

ancestors, grass, bird,
deer and all gone,
wild creatures
whose bodies become
carrots, peas, and wild
flowers, who
give sustenance
to human needs, whose
agile dance of music
nourishes the ear
and soul of the dog
resting under the stove
and the woman working over
the stove and the geese
out the open window
strolling in the backyard…