Mother and Child, as seen on a solstice labyrinth walk under an almost full moon, 2018.

The night is so long,
Oh Holy One.
The longest night of the year.
Just this once,
we pause.
We look up:
from the blue light of the screen,
from the list which grows (how is this possible?) longer the more we cross off,
from our own unholy expectations of What Should Be.
We are surprised by stars,
visible in the winter sky.
And there, on the horizon,
the moon, just about full.
We light a candle or two.
As we walk into the night,
we recall its gifts –
nurture, rest, mystery.
Soon, our eyes
(so accustomed to flashing lights!)
We can see more clearly
than we had imagined we would.
We were too distracted
by the the jumbled glare of day to see it,
but your promise still lives.
The fruitful planet is
spinning, turning, blossoming.
We are coming out of night
and day is dawning.
The wait is almost over.
The Earth is breathing,
and we are breathing with her.
We hear a song, quiet at first,
then louder and stronger.
An astonished chorus
meets the moon,
rising round over the trees.
“Gloria, gloria, gloria!”
It is our own voices,



Jennifer Garrison Brownell serves as pastor at Vancouver United Church of Christ in Vancouver, Washington.  She contributed to the Revgals book There’s a Woman in the Pulpit and is the author of the not-really-about-a-triathlon memoir Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath. She blogs at There Is a River.

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