WISE WOMEN, Jan Richardson

In some parts of the world, Epiphany (January 6, which brings the Christmas season to a close) is celebrated as Women’s Christmas. Originating in Ireland, where it is known as Nollaig na mBan, Women’s Christmas began as a day when the women, who often carried the domestic responsibilities all year, took Epiphany as an occasion to enjoy a break and celebrate together at the end of the holidays.

A Blessing for Women’s Christmas

There is so much
I want to say,
as if the saying
could prepare you
for this path,
as if there were anything
I could offer
that would make your way
less circuitous,
more smooth.

Once you step out
you will see for yourself
how nothing could have
made you ready for this road
that will take you
from what you know now
to what you cannot perceive
except, perhaps,
in your dreaming
or as it gives a glimpse
in prayer.

But I can tell you
this journey is not
about miles.
It is not about how far
you can walk
or how fast.

It is about what you will do
with this moment, this star
that blazes in your sky
though no one else
might see.

So open your heart
to these shimmering hours
by which your path
is made.

Open your eyes
to the light that shines
on what you will need
to see.

Open your hands
to those who go with you,
those seen
and those known only
by their blessing, their benediction
of the road that is
your own.

Jan Richardson

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