Nowell

candlesPink flesh colored leaves in December have replaced the yellow autumn leaves dusting the labyrinth. The labyrinth has become female in the winter, becoming the most beautiful and lasting thing in the garden no longer competing with roses and mums for my eye or attention, the white rocks and the wet ground more alive because of the death and dormancy surrounding her.

I am far from the labyrinth now, under bright skies in Florida and I wonder why I brave the cold each winter. No reason seems strong enough to stay when there is so much color and light here. How can it feel like Christmas asks Paul. He and I had Channukah with his family and upon hearing the ancient prayers, I closed my eyes and thoughts of thousands of years and thousands of prayers, of candles lit through time.  At church today with my sister, celebrating the Holy Family, we sang The First Nowell. The spelling intriqued me. The song I learned was from the 16th century and once more I was transported, thinking of the first singers of the song and its melody enduring through the generations.  The lyrics, which always wrapped around the tune in an unusual way to me felt right in a new way.

My father gave me a labyrinth charm for Christmas. It is a Chartres labyrinth, so I carry the path with me now.

http://www.niu.edu/PubAffairs/RELEASES/2006/nov/Nowell.shtml

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