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Lifetime Piling Up
I Remember Days and Crazy Nights
The Shortest Day 
21st-Dec-2010 10:50 am
Lord of the Dance
I do celebrate Christmas, in a half-assed, secular sort of way. (As Dan Savage once put it, a number of his atheist, bacon-loving friends of Hebraic descent nonetheless sometimes seize holiday opportunities to gather together and act like Big Fat Jews for reasons of tradition; Christmas is, I suppose, this agnostic's opportunity to act like a Big Fat Christian once a year.)

In any case, I think the following well-loved poem can speak for many of us, Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics, and pagans, and really anyone who believes in the symbolic value of kindling lights during this, the darkest time in all the year. I've posted it before, but that's never stopped me in the past, now has it?

Wishing you and yours peace, safety, love, simple joys, and much wisdom in the year just ahead.

The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us -- listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

—Susan Cooper
6th-Feb-2011 08:33 am (UTC) - blinds buffalo
Good piece of reading I have to admit. Well prepared and useful, thank you!
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