A cup of tea. An act of friendship. A warm embrace from a friend.

For some of us, this presence might be harder than for others. We may have suffered a loss. We may have hard memories associated with the holidays which we have to shake off during these days. We may be separated from family or heavy-hearted.

On December 9th, we will gather on Saturday morning for Breath and Spirit. This is our quarterly retreat where we take time to be particularly aware of what nurtures us and what makes us feel whole. This year our theme will be on “creating home” with the idea that being home for the holidays is about what we carry within us, what beauty we care to notice and what hope we carry in our hearts. And we will take some time in stillness TOGETHER which is a magical experience in itself. And the vespers circle will gather as well on December 6 and 20th.

Like the pause in the pirouette, like the silence after the clapping, like the rest in the middle of the aria, often the events of our lives are framed by our times of quiet and reflection. Like the leaf as it rests from its fall, like the star as it is framed in the darkness, like the ellipses in the poem, it is within our stillness that we understand the gifts our lives can be. In the midst of so much busyness, in the midst of so much action, stillness is a balm.

So may the healing darkness of this season bear the balm of stillness towards you. Do not be afraid of the quiet. Do not be afraid of the gentleness of this season of rest and ferment. Do not fill your life with tinsel so that the true sparkling stillness of the winter stars cannot be seen. Embrace the pause, cherish the rest, know that the gap between the words may hold the key to all their truth, that in the space of silence healing awaits. Rest, pause, know stillness.