We have turned the year.
Whilst we are still in the midst of winter, the
amount of daylight each day is increasing. Christmas in the
northern hemisphere falls just as the daylight begins to
lengthen. It's as if the placing of Christmas speaks to us
through the growing daylight that God in Christ is with us, the
Light of the World is with us both in the darkest times and as
the daylight grows.
This winter I've been reading Katherine May's
book, Wintering, in which she writes about physical and
metaphorical winters, and about how to endure sometimes and how
to enjoy sometimes.
She writes well and widely. In her examination
of wintering she touches on things spiritual. Here she talks
about prayer, "By closing my eyes, however briefly, and resting
my thoughts on the core of my perception, I can gain some of the
peace that meditation brings me. I have come to think of it as
prayer, although I ask for nothing, and speak to no one within
it. It is a profoundly non-verbal experience, a sharp breath
of pure being amid a forest of words. It is an untangling, a
moment to feel the true ache of desire, the gentle wash of
self-compassion, the heart-swell of thanks, the tick tick tick
of existence. It is a moment when, alone, I feel most
connected with others. I can feel entirely separate in a crowd
of people, but closing my eyes, I can feel as though I have
walked into a river of all consciousness, bathed in common
May we all find something of that peace and
experience of our common humanity, whether it may be for us
alone or with others, in church or community or home.
Happy New Year,
Canon Peter Greenwood