In this fateful hour
All Heaven with its power
The sun with its brightness
The snow with its whiteness
The fire with all the strength it hath
The lightning with its rapid wrath
The winds with their swiftness
The sea with its deepness
The rocks with their steepness
The earth with its starkness
All these I place
Between myself and the power of darkness
On gold-inked calligraphy, I transcribed this poem from Madeleine L’Engle on watercolour paper, edged the paper in royal purple, and placed it above my bedroom door as a talisman when I was young, living in my parents’ house. I’ve since lost that talisman, but in times of darkness, I think about it every once in awhile, when the ordinary prayers don’t surface and nature and human nature’s force weigh heavy and dark.
It is a testimony to the feast of Christmas, to celebrate human life in the midst of nature’s death, that even in death there is life, that even in pain there is joy, and placed before the dark, light shines, and darkness be not the winner this day.