Enduring Blessing

“A Gathering of Spirits”

©Jan Richardson



Sharing with you today this poem by Jan Richardson, a writer, visual artist and retreat leader.

Jan introduces it as follows:

“This year … I am thinking especially of those who have lost beloved ones since this time last year. And I am thinking always of those who have carried grief for a long time. I am grateful that the sacred calendar provides these days to do what so many of us do throughout the year: to remember beloved ones who are no longer here but who somehow journey with us still.

In these days, as we grieve and celebrate our beloved dead, may we know how they endure with us, holding our hearts and encompassing us with a fierce and stubborn love that persists across time and distance. May that love help light our way in the life that is continuing to unfold for us.”

What I really want to tell you
is to just lay this blessing
on your forehead,
on your heart;
let it rest
in the palm of your hand,
because there is hardly anything
this blessing could say,
any word it could offer
to fill the hollow.

Let this blessing
work its way
into you
with its lines
that hold nearly
unspeakable lament.

Let this blessing
settle into you
with its hope
more ancient
than knowing.

Hear how this blessing
has not come alone—
how it echoes with
the voices of those
who accompany you,
who attend you in every moment,
who continually whisper
this blessing to you.

Hear how they
do not cease
to walk with you,
even when the dark
is deepest.

Hear how they
encompass you always—
breathing this blessing to you,
bearing this blessing to you

—Jan Richardson from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Grace and peace, Adrienne



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