Photography by Linda DeGraf

Every creature is a glistening, glittering mirror of divinity. ~ Hildegard of Bingen

Recently I came across a few lines I’d written years ago in a journal:  “They say that trees and plants encased in ice incur more damage by attempts to free them.  The slow work of the sun gently melting them heals by warmth.  We too, should learn, as Barry Lopez says, to ‘lean into the light.’”  In winter it is all too easy to succumb to gloom, lamenting the long nights of darkness.  World events echo this seemingly endless chill, encasing hearts in unyielding ice.  What more urgent time than now, in the words of Teilhard de Chardin, to “trust in the slow work of God.”

How can I stay completely present to this world—the light and the dark—while still keeping an open loving heart:  Who ever promised me the world would be perfect…I need to set a different course by reminding myself that humankind has always been flawed…and Love and light continue to exist anyway.  The news should simply inspire me to be extra loving and tender…Today I resolve to balance every dose of darkness I receive with an equal, if not greater, dose of light…I resolve to check the balance daily and provide myself with the silence and solitude I need to maintain it.  I truly believe it does matter what energy we put out into the world.     ~ Ann O’Shaughnessy, former co-editor of “Heron Dance,” founder of