Winter Grace

Thanks for this oh so glorious day,
the white frosting the trees,
the roots hidden and holding,
the sun muted but listening,
the air waiting in branches
and all the warmth gathered
in the grey-brown of bare bark.

A still-life silhouette
waiting for a new season,
a naked landscape
minding the moment,
no rush and froth,
no hanging on to
last year’s favours,
no straining for
tomorrow’s buds of green.

A silent holding of space,
a frieze of stiff fingers in cotton gowns,
a meditation of grace.


The lights are strung,
the trees have come
reminding us to celebrate
the return of nature
as well as the birth
of a child.

And have we tasted
all that was promised
when a child of God,
the son of a woman,
became the Son of Man?

That we too
have God in our veins
and love in our hearts,
and can help
meet the thirst
of this world.


The light is born.
It calls me into the wide air,
the slow stream that flows
from the weight of night in the west
through my garden
to the edge of sun.

Here the day waits to be formed,
to run its body over the fat earth,
to rub its nose into the corners of dark,
nudging the trees awake.

It is glistening,
waiting to squeeze its newness
into the old harbour,
ready to flood as the rim of earth
cracks its ripeness and delivers it
fresh as baby’s breath.

If I sit softly in its saddle
I can see it unfurl around me,
lightening the air like love.
I am a princess to its promise.


My boat and my body
are ready.

There are currents calling
from the deep sea,
singing from the crest
of the running wave.

I have left
the hearth of home,
turned my back
on the place of shelter.

The ocean is my mother,
the flowing air my father
and I will ride
the calms and storms.

I am surrendered
to the turning tide,
I am directed
by the untamed wind.

They are the breath
and breast of God.

(Notes – the peregrini were Celtic monks who undertook a kind of pilgrimage or peregrinatio on the sea where the purpose wasn’t the destination but the voyage.  It was about the inner journey, about finding the wilderness in the ocean, to be alone without normal supports so that God could fill every moment of their day.  And it was about exile – leaving their homeland (usually Ireland) voluntarily out of love for God and allowing the winds and currents to bear them where they would, abandoning themselves to the mercy and providence of God.  The currach is similar to a coracle, a boat made of hide stretched over a wooden frame, but bigger.)

The Dark

In the dark
there is a gift
I might have missed
in the bright of day.

It is the slowing of time,
the sense of air
soft filling each space,
touching my face;
of self with no mask
or pretence,
no agenda,
no inner or outer pressure,
just silence so loud
I can hear it.

It is so empty, it is full.
I can feel all that is there,
all that is always there,
although I am not.

I can honour it
by doing nothing.