Blessing of the Magi

In some parts of the world, Epiphany is also celebrated as Women’s Christmas. Originating in Ireland, it began as a day when the women, who often carried the domestic responsibilities all year, took Epiphany as an occasion to enjoy a bit of respite and celebrate together at the end of the holidays. Whether your domestic duties are many or few, Women’s Christmas is a good time to pause and take a break from whatever has kept you busy in the past weeks or months. As the Christmas season ends, this is an occasion both to celebrate with friends and also to spend time in reflection before diving into the responsibilities of this new year.

 

There is no reversing
this road.
The path that bore you here
goes in one direction only,
every step drawing you
down a way
by which you will not
return.
You thought arrival
was everything,
that your entire journey
ended with kneeling
in the place
you had spent all
to find.
When you laid down
your gift,
release came with such ease,
your treasure tumbling
from your hands
in awe and
benediction.
Now the knowledge
of your leaving
comes like a stone laid
over your heart,
the familiar path closed
and not even the solace
of a star
to guide your way.
You will set out in fear
you will set out in dream
but you will set out
by that other road
that lies in shadow
and in dark.
We cannot show you
the route that will
take you home;
that way is yours
and will be found
in the walking.
But we tell you
you will wonder
at how the light you thought
you had left behind
goes with you,
spilling from
your empty hands,
shimmering beneath
your homeward feet,
illuminating the road
with every step
you take.  

  • Jan Richardson is an artist and author who shares her work at paintedprayerbook.com, a blog that explores the intersections of writing, art and faith.

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