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For When the Nights are Longest

On this longest night of the year we are reminded that our days are short on this Earth. We are invited to reflect on the seasons past and find stillness in this darkest time. 

Does that scare you just a little? It does me. 

I am a lover of the light. I enjoy the sunshine, happy people, belly laughs, karaoke, musical theatre... I named my podcast Happy Healthy You! and wrote a book entitled Back to Happy for goodness' sake!

Being with darkness and grief is not a pleasant thing for me. Or for any of us I suspect.

Yesterday I found out that a dear friend from my school days had passed from this world. He was a sweet, loving generous soul who was a friend to everyone he met. His life was way too short.

How do we reconcile in our hearts and minds sad events like the passing of a dear friend during this “hap-happiest time of the year”? I found myself yesterday praying one minute and then bustling around preparing for our family holiday celebration the next. It was a strange, surreal day. 

This time last year another friend passed too soon and suddenly. She was a yoga friend and a member of the DC acting community. We were stunned and shocked by her passing, as was her family.

This week on the Happy Healthy You! podcast I am joined by my sweet friend and fellow yogi Ashley Sky Litecky of Skyhouse Yoga (www.skyhouseyoga.com) to honor the life of Tricia McCauley and try to make sense of tragedy, grief and loss. She also shared a beautiful yoga practice to help move some of our grief through the emotional and physical bodies. She reminded me and I share it with you that community is vitally important during times of grief and loss. I cannot agree more. I am grateful for my family, my friends, and for you, wherever you are reading this. Thank you for being my community.

I want to share this poem by Jan Richardson that I think so so beautiful and appropriate:

Blessing for the Longest Night

All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.
It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.
So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.
You will know
the moment of its
arriving
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.
This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.
So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.
This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.
– Jan Richardson


Have a blessed holiday. May you keep the faith in the darkest hours, always hope in the light, and enjoy precious moments with loved ones as you celebrate in the days to come.

XO,

Connie

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