Friday, January 15, 2016

Poetry Friday: Women's Christmas, Belatedly

Yes, I know that by anybody's calendar, the Christmas season is over.  But I was reading about an Irish tradition called "Women's Christmas."  The idea is that women didn't really get to relax over the Christmas season because they did most of the work, so when Epiphany arrives on January 6th, the women take a break and celebrate together.  In my case, I do not work extra hard over Christmas, as my husband and kids decorate the tree and cook and all of that, and our celebrations were extra low-key this year anyway.  So I don't deserve the relaxing part, but I found this poem that Jan Richardson wrote for Women's Christmas this year and it fits very well with the way I am thinking these days.  Jan focused on the Magi being warned in a dream to return home by a different way, and the poem is called "The Map You Make Yourself."  You can see the whole poem, and Jan's reflections on Women's Christmas, here.

Here's the end of the poem:

Do not expect
to return
by the same road.
Home is always
by another way,
and you will know it
not by the light
that waits for you

but by the star
that blazes inside you,
telling you
where you are
is holy
and you are welcome
—Jan Richardson

"Where you are is holy and you are welcome here."  I'm holding on to those words today.

Here's today's roundup.


Tabatha said...

I had never heard of Women's Christmas. Great tradition, and I love the poem. You post the most amazing stuff, Ruth!

Linda B said...

Wow, thanks, Ruth. I have never heard of Women's Christmas, either. What a lovely idea, to rest and reflect, alone or with friends. I love "the star/that blazes inside you", really all that the poem tells.

Mary Lee said...

I love how this poem takes the story of Christmas and the Epiphany and tells it with a different slant!

Carol Varsalona said...

Thank you, Ruth for opening my eyes to Woman's Christmas. I have explored the site and read the poem in entirety so I will believe (my OLW) that the route home will lead me to new discoveries if I am open to the journey.

Diane Mayr said...

Welcome detours
as doors deeper in.

Profound and musical--a great line. Thanks, Ruth!

Violet Nesdoly said...

Thanks for introducing me to Jan Richardson and her beautiful poem. So much to reflect on in it!

cb hanek said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging and enlightening post! Just a few days ago, I learned about "Boxing Day," and now--thanks to you--I've learned about "Women's Christmas! ...The two seem interrelated! I love the idea of women bonding over a shared holiday. The last line of the poem you kindly included in your post gave me goosebumps...p.s. Since the Roman Catholic Christmas liturgical season didn't end until this past Sunday (Feast of the Baptism of the Lord), I'd say you still were right on time! Church decorations and Nativity scenes were being dismantled in our parish these last couple of day. Folks are being offered poinsettias to take home this weekend ...Besides, Christmas is good to celebrate any and all times of the year! ...Thanks again so much, and God bless you!

Bridget Magee said...

Oh, Woman's Christmas - I like the sound of that. A few lines of Richardson's poem really resonated with me as my 18 y/o daughter is making some big life decisions (mistakes?). My hope is that she will know she can always come home where she can be "holy" and where she is always "welcome here." Thank you, Ruth.

Keri said...

That poem is SPECTACULAR! I love the idea of treating detours as doors deeper in. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

This is beautiful, Ruth, and just what I needed this morning. Thank you.

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Hi there, Ruth. In the Philippines, the Christmas celebrations begin in September and end during the 6th of January (the Epiphany) - which also happens to be my husband's and my mother's birthday, so I can totally get behind this extended Christmas celebration. Thanks for sharing!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Soul-enriching, Ruth - thank you. (& thanks for the introduction to that site.) I heard about Women's Christmas last year - what a perfect idea - and am glad to learn more about it here. BTW, you SO deserve any restful moment that comes your way! ;0) Wishing you a lovely 2016.