This past Sunday we sang one of my favorite hymns for this time of year—and it’s not a Christmas carol! It’s #55 in Singing the Living Tradition titled “Dark of Winter.”

Dark of winter, soft and still, your quiet calm surrounds me. Let my thoughts go where they will; ease my mind profoundly. And then my soul will sing a song, a blessed song of love eternal. Gentle darkness, soft and still, bring your quiet to me.

Darkness, soothe my weary eyes, that I may see more clearly. When my heart with sorrow cries, comfort and caress me. And then my soul may hear a voice, a still, small voice of love eternal. Darkness, when my fears arise, let your peace flow through me.

This beautiful hymn was written by UU composer and musician Shelley Jackson Denham, who has many contributions in the gray hymnal. Not only are her words beautiful and comforting, she titled her tune “Winter Meditation.”

This holiday season it may be easy to get caught up in the busyness of our own lives and the historic events unfolding at the national level. While all of this is important, I encourage you to take a few moments this winter season to bask in the stillness, let the calm surround you and ease your mind. The long nights of this time invite us to look up at the stars, relish the twinkling holiday lights, and enjoy candlelight. Remember the awe and wonder of the season.

I will be doing the same. After the Christmas Eve services next week, I will be taking some time away from OUUC. I hope to get to know our new home a bit better and spend some time with John. Other staff will also take time away to be with family and rejuvenate for the coming year. We’ll see you again in the new year.

May the peace of winter darkness flow through you.

Rev. Mary