This Sacred Thread

 

They once dwelled among us, the people of memory.
They who knew us, they who taught us,
They who hurt us, they who loved us.

They touch our lives time and again,
through their presence and their absence.
Through familiar scents and favorite songs,
Through old stories and renewed sorrow.

As the earth turns and leaves fall,
We reach back to renew the bonds between us.
With hearts and hands open
We hold onto to love,
Ever-stronger than death.

We reach back in gratitude and understanding –
Without our time together,
The pain and the joy,
We would never be who we are today;
We would have little to pass on ourselves.

Without fear, with thanksgiving
and with hope for all that awaits,
We remember those who have gone before,
We honor the circle of life and death,
And our place within this sacred thread.

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The Summer Day

“The Summer Day”
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

The Shortest Day

Posted by Susan Cooper on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

 

Below is Susan Cooper’s poem “The Shortest Day,” written originally for The Christmas Revels in celebration of the winter solstice.

There is a version both printed and on the internet with a mistake in it, so we are posting this to be sure that the many people who share this poem have the right words and punctuation. Please use the poem for non-commercial purposes, and follow copyright guidelines. You can direct permissions questions to susancooper@thelostland.com. Thank you!

THE SHORTEST DAY

By Susan Cooper

Copyright Susan Cooper 1974

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, revelling.

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!

One Song

Every war and every conflict
between human beings has happened
because of some disagreement about names.

It is such an unnecessary foolishness,
because just beyond the arguing
there is a long table of companionship
set and waiting for us to sit down.

What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge basin.
All religions, all this singing, one song.

The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Sunlight looks a little different
on this wall than it does on that wall
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still the same light.

We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise,
we are pouring them back in.

Rumi

#524 Earth Mother Star Mother

(Starhawk)

Earth mother, star mother,
You who are called by
a thousand names,
May all remember
we are cells in your body
and dance together.
You are the grain
and the loaf
That sustains us each day.
And as you are patient
with our struggles to learn
So shall we be patient
with ourselves and each other.
We are radiant light
and sacred dark
–the balance–
You are the embrace the heartens
And the freedom beyond fear.
Within you we are born
we grow, live, and die–
You bring us around the circle
to rebirth,
Within us you dance
Forever

I Don’t Want To Go Into School

– Poem By Colin Mcnaughton.

I don’t want to go into school today; Mum,
I don’t feel like school work today.
Oh, don’t make me go to school today, Mum
Oh, please let me stay home and play.

But you must go to school, my cherub, my lamb,
If you don’t it will be a disaster,
How would they manage without you, my sweet,
After all you are the headmaster!

NOTES: 

Used as Opening Reading for Annual Teacher’s Meeting July 12, 2018

Eagle Poem

“To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
“And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
“Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
“Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.”
~Joy Harjo