Midwinter Blessings

Posted on Tuesday 20 February 2024

Midwinter Blessings

Beach view in Malahide - Fionnuala Gill

December 21st holds special significance for me – the Winter Solstice – a time to reflect on the year that comes to an end and sew seeds for the year soon to begin. The darkest point in the year and the point where the light begins to return. A time where nature sleeps, yet also reminds us of her power in winter storms and floods. The beauty of winter light and wet earth beneath my feet.

I have watched the turning season with awe and gratitude this year, as somehow the rhythm of leaves turning and falling, leaving bare trees, has reminded me of the inner landscape of being a human being – those times in all our lives where seasons turn and old things fall away to make space for the new. And how can we learn to trust these rhythms? Perhaps by slowing down just a little, as nature does at this time of year. By exploring gentleness, as I am being asked to do in this season of my own life.

Taking stock.

Sitting by the fire!

Being grateful for our blessings and bringing gentle acknowledgement to our challenges.

In the midst of the busyness of the festive season I hope you can find some moments of stillness – some moments of time to connect with yourself and be gentle with whatever you find.

One of the blessings of 2015 for me was the discovery of the poetry of a wonderful Irish poet called Rachel Holstead.

I share her poem ‘Gift’ below and if you would like to find out more about her work you can visit her website.

With love and good wishes as 2015 comes to a close!



‘Give yourself the gift of your attention.
Catch the whirlwind rush and gently, calmly, set it aside.
Sit still and watch its flurries echo inside you.
Stick with the stillness and find the calm in your breath.
And as the flurries dissipate, find the knot inside
Whose tight curling, tense clinging is at the centre of it all.
And sit and still sit and know that, in time,
The knot will unfurl, release, and there will be space again.
And space becomes your gift, encircles everything,
Slows the pace, lets the light in.
Rachel Holstead

1 Comment

  1. MargaretMc Govern on February 13, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Very beautiful Fionnuala. Thanks for sharing.
    Kind regards,

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