winter solstice prayer (for my daughter)

know your darkness, dear one.

take it in, roll it on your tongue.

own those shadowy hollows, and their rough edges.

befriend your fears, feel your heartache

understand the value of retreat.

get your skirt wet,

fold in

and touch the ground as often as you need to.


because you, my dear,

are the brightest light I have ever stood in.

you are volume, tenacity, brilliance;

the song in the shower.

you are certain to start

a few fires.


i am not suggesting that you dim, my sweet girl.

only reminding you that one does not rise,

without the other setting.

there will be nights without stars that you can see.


do you remember that you cried once when you were small,

begging for me

to make the sun go away?

you wanted to go to sleep.


so now i offer, on this shortest day,

when the darkness comes fast,

that it is ok to take time barefoot on the earth,

to lay your head down and let your prayers

rise up.


i will cradle your resilience,

your truth, your astonishing light,

while you rest.

~Lisa Field-Elliot

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