[This is designed to be read aloud around a hearthfire, but a simple candle will do. This was crafted with extra care for those who are grieving for a parent this year. It was conceived and written while listening to Relativity by Fires of Denmark.]
We are gathered here together, like generations before us, to share the deep and profound magic of this time of year. Our rich and abundant earth reaches its deepest, darkest moment, just before the sun is born anew. It is a time when many of us gather around hearth and home, drawn by the light on these, our darkest days.
Imagine our ancestors, without shelter, tending this fire when it was all that separated us from starvation and death.
Imagine our forebears, using this flame to craft the hunting tools that help keep us alive.
Imagine generations of our grandmothers and grandfathers nurturing this fire at the center of our home, warming us, cooking our food, our only source of light, and our beacon of safety.
Imagine all who have held us in their arms as they gazed into a fire.
We honor the work and sacrifice, the joys and successes of our ancestors. All of their care has brought us to this moment. Our moment. And as we tend this same fire today, we ask all those who came before us:
-Light our way as we journey through the full flowering of the dark.
-Lead us to seek out the deep silence that is only available to us this time of year.
-Guide us to face our darkest fears, our despair, our sadness, and our cruelty.
-Help us to acknowledge our own capacity for darkness, so that we may partake fully in our radiant light.
-Remind us that, as these days are short, so is our time on this earth.
-Fill us with your bravery so that we may use our time wisely:
To continue to fight for justice
To choose light over darkness
To care for each other as you have cared for us
That we may leave this world as beautiful as we can for our own descendants,
Who will one day call to us.
May we continue to find strength in the spirit that abides within us and around us everywhere.