Monday, December 20, 2010

The Longest Night Isn't Christmas Eve

Image borrowed from Bing


Four o’clock darkness drops. A final guillotine.
With it rain, with it ice, with it wind - drops.
Like THAT.

That was the shortest day.
This is the longest night.
There are calculations.
There are tables.
There are records.
Earth Tilts. Strains.
The final miles from light, from heat, from force.
Rights itself. Spins on, wobbling slightly.

No matter to me. One man,
time-trapped, moved not by the length of light.
But by a sense that the day itself
is smaller than hoped for –
There are records and calculations for me as well.
Like the earth, I tilt -
strain my final miles from light and heat.
And right myself to spin again
toward larger days and wider nights.
And the rebirth blessing called Christmas.

Bless me, Christmas - this fool -
his wife, children, friends, and foes.
Let it all happen - grab us
by the heart and not let go.
Pour goodwill down upon our heads -
sweet charity, laughter, songs.
Drive us out of the narrow streets of our lives
into the great plains of joy.
Make us shout - hallelujah,
HA L L E L U J A H !
Into the holy night, sky above, and earth around.
Just for the moment, for the time being -
which is all the time there ever is -
Bless us every one.
Tilting and straining to right ourselves and spin on -
Toward more abundant life.

Robert Fulghum


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