I am very lucky. I work in an environment that respects and honors children. It is a profound experience. We have a holiday tradition before our winter break. All of the children, from 3 year-olds to middle school students, are invited to write a wish on a strip of shiny paper. Then we string them together in a chain and bring them to a gathering where we talk about the Solstice and the returning of the light. A student from my class wrote this wish:
I wish that it would be so peaceful that everyone could hear the river.
It gave me chills. What river was she thinking of? What river was she hearing?
The Shortest Day
And 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 now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
By Susan Cooper
Wishing you and yours a peaceful and joyous Holiday Season.