Phew! I got two of my ADF Clergy Training Program courses written up and submitted this evening – and after all of that writing, I hafta do a blog thing as well? I was going to write about our upcoming Winter Solstice ritual, but with as much snow as has come down today (and it isn’t melting away this time), winter must be here already, so a ritual would be redundant, right? I’ll hold off on the Yule aticle until next week (but folks who want to help us get the ritual put together are welcome to join us at Liturgists’ Roundtable on Tuesday night), and I hope you’ll all settle for a poem I wrote about winter for our newsletter a few years ago.
Danu’s Shiny Blanket
Remember back when you were young, and hated going to bed?
You’d yell and kick and scream until your face would turn bright red.
For Morpheus was monstrous, trying to steal your time to play,
And not a soothing healer as those dumb adults would say.
But then your mind grew more mature (at least that’s what I think)
And now you know it’s pleasant when to Slumberland you sink.
A time to rest, to dream of happy thoughts and wild retreats,
At least until your bedroom partner rolls and steals the sheets.
And yet you still complain when chill November winds do blow,
A portent of the coming of the cold December snow.
Consider, when the powder piles up seven inches deep,
That this is Mother Danu’s way to put the land to sleep.
For now it’s just past Samhain, and the dark year half begun,
And now’s the time to see much more of stars and less of sun.
Just like the child who sees the dusk and knows that bed is near,
So too must nature slumber in the nighttime of the year.
For bears, it’s very easy, they just curl up in their caves,
And hibernate until the spring brings warmth in growing waves.
And plants will either die or drowse, depending on their style.
But March and melting snow will bring them back and make us smile.
But no, we human beings have a harder road to tread.
We can’t just spend the winter months curled up upon a bed.
And so we rant and grumble when we have someplace to go,
Because our trip’s slowed down a tad by Danu’s blessed snow.
Just keep in mind while winter’s here and you are stuck downtown,
That this is Danu’s way to get her children to slow down,
And spend more time indoors and share your time with friends and kin,
Enjoying winter’s quietude before the summer’s din.
And soon enough the wheel will turn and springtime will be here!
And spring will turn to summer and the bright half of the year.
And winter’s rest will make you ready for your Beltaine fun,
To frolic in the forest in the light of Bel the Sun!
Yours in service to the Kindreds and the Grove,
Rev. Rob Henderson, Senior Druid