Still (an Advent poem)

We are on the edge of a winter blast descending. Just in time for Christmas!

Except, the promise is that by Christmas day, it will turn less frigid but not balmy.

It is the winter season here at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. Temperatures climb and plummet. Climb and plummet. And we adapt. And even in our adaptations we accept, grumbling is acceptable. Grumbling can be the norm.

Skies hang grey and sullen, clouding the sun like a teenager sulking in their room after being grounded.

Ice is slowly inching out from the river’s banks and gravel bars closing the gaps between land and water.

And the world waits.

My Saturday mood is full of anticipation. We are putting up the tree and decorating tomorrow evening. My youngest daughter, hopefully C.C.’s son and girlfriend and maybe even my sister and her husband will join in the festivities.

For me, this is Christmas. It’s not about the gifts. It’s about. gathering with those near and dear to us, creating memories, sharing meals and laughter and being part of something magical that embraces us in its beauty and joy.

In this Saturday morning mood, the muse visited and I heeded her call…

By Louise Gallagher ©2022

Almost still
held captive between a season
of bounty 
losing its strength
against winter ice
lined up like an army 
ready to advance
across the river’s flow
captured by winter
advancing with its relentless
Arctic breath.

Behind front doors
strung with festive boughs
and twinkling lights
we wait
the light will return to
winter burnished skies
held captive within
the longest night’s
turning back
towards the light.

In the depths
of long dark night of winter 
someone whispers 
a child is coming
and the world holds 
its collective breath
captive in the hope
this child
will bring love, peace and joy
for all the world
to know
winter passes,
spring thaws,
and summer blossoms
turn with the season’s passing
into autumn’s bounty.

Hope. Peace. Love. Joy. And Advent Invitation

FullSizeRender (61)I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought for you are not ready for thought.
So the darkness shall be light, and the stillness the dancing.
T S Eliot, “East Coker,” Four Quartets

We have entered the season of Advent. The time of anticipation and preparation of new life, new birth, new beginnings.

Here in the northern hemisphere, the days grow shorter, night falls quickly and the dark surrounds us.

We are waiting.

So often in our fast-paced, let’s get ‘er over and done with world, this time of year becomes a continuous flow of too few minutes jam-packed with shopping and decorating and baking and partying. We rush from store to store, furiously crossing items off our list in our quest to buy that one special thing that one special person truly needs. We rush into everything for fear we won’t get ‘er all done before nightfall only to throw ourselves on our beds where we toss and turn worrying that we forgot one gift, one more thing to bake, one more person to see, one more place to go.

So often, the meaning behind gift-giving and family gatherings and friends visiting gets lost beneath the pace of our constant rushing to acquire, get and do whatever it takes to create the perfect holiday season. The perfect family dinner. The perfect memories of all of us together.

If we just had time.

Let us slow down. Let us stop and breathe deeply. Let us celebrate this moment, right now, in which time is all around us, flowing through our being present in every moment and every thing we do.

Let us shift our relationship with the season. Let us shift our relationship with time, the darkness, the waning or the waxing of the light at the end of each day.

There is no time but this time right now.

And there is time. There is always time. To do what must be done. To get what must be got. To finish what must be finished. But first, we must enter into this time with our hearts open to the abundance, beauty and awe of this moment passing right now.

Let us Make Time for the Sacred.


Week 1

A few years ago, I created an Advent celebration: Make Time for the Sacred.

It is a weekly email that contains a reading, an audio meditation and a few contemplative questions designed to bring you deeper into self-awareness and understanding of this special time of year, of your relation to the sacred and your connection to the holy and reverent state of being present here on earth.

Over the next four weeks, beginning today, I will be posting each weekly meditation on my website and invite you to join me throughout this season of Advent in an exploration of the quiet hours before the dawn, the silent time before the coming of new life, new birth, new beginnings that this time of year represents.

No matter your faith, believer or non-believer, my vision is that Make Time for the Sacred will connect you to the deeper essence of our shared human condition, our shared holy presence on this planet earth we share.

Week 1

Embedded in this graphic is the link to the PDF for Week 1.

Within each PDF is an audio-file link to the guided meditation.

In Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.


Waiting for Christmas

DSCF0639It is that holy time of year again. A time when here in the northern hemisphere, we await the coming of the light after the long dark nights of winter. It is a time when the Christian world awaits with expectant breath the coming of a child. A time when fir trees are adorned with glistening lights and carolers sing out to passers-by and children smile at snow falling and presents piling up under the tree. It is a time to celebrate the sacred nature of our world, the miracle of life, the waning of darkness soon to become light.

This is a time for renewal, for pause, for welcoming in the light. It is a time to make room for gifts, the gift of life, the gift of love, peace, hope and joy.

It is a time to celebrate the human condition in all its manifestations here on earth. It is a time to celebrate the coming into being – of not just the Christ child, but of all of us.

This is a time of awakening. A time to make room for the spiritual aspects of our nature, the holy essence of our being human. It is a time to slow down, to live in the moment, to appreciate the small things of life unfolding in wonder every day. From the delicate light and warmth of a candle flame to the quiet stillness of the darkness just before the dawn, this is a time to prepare, to make ready, to enter into the anticipation of life coming into being and of light following the darkness.

In this time of waiting and awakening, I invite you to take a deep breath in. In. Out. Breathe. Let your eyes gently close. Let your jaw relax, the muscles of your face soften.

Breathe in. Feel the coolness of the air as it enters your body.

Breathe out. Feel the warmth of your breath as you exhale. Feel the air upon your skin, the softness of its caress.

Feel the world around you, growing quiet, settle into peacefulness and breathe.


Imagine you are standing beneath a star lit sky high upon a hill. Around you the world spreads out in the darkness. Above you a blanket of stars glitter in the velvety dark sky.

Imagine you are all alone yet connected to the millions of others who stand as you do, alone upon a hill beneath the star littered blanket of night.

Imagine, as you breathe in, they breathe out.

Imagine, as you breathe out, they breathe in.

Imagine you are all one breath, connected through this one air you share and breathe into, connected to the millions of others breathing with you. This air that nourishes your body, is the air that nourishes theirs.

And as you stand, breathing as one, you spread your arms wide, raise your face to the moon and stars above and whisper,

“I am here. I am willing. Let the night and the moon and the stars give way to what is to come. I am waiting for the light. In my waiting I open my heart to the beauty and the wonder unfolding all around me. I open my arms to receive the gifts of this season of peace, hope, love and joy. I am waiting.”

We are all waiting.


Let your body feel the peace, hope, love and joy of this wondrous time of year flowing all around and within you. Feel your heart soften, your breath deepen, your mind open wide.

Sit and breathe in the beauty all around, open your heart and mind and soul and body to receive the gifts of the Universe shimmering in the light of a million stars showering your heart in Love.

Breathe. And be one in joyous expectation of the coming of the light.

In this time of waiting, let Love be your companion. Let Love light your way. Let peace be your path from darkness into light.

Now  Breathe. Quietly.

And in this moment of quiet, let a song arise within your heart and you wait patiently for the sun to return, for a child to be born.

Let us each be the light in the darkness awakening for all the world to know peace, hope, love and joy.


Expectant Silence  (An Advent Poem)

In expectant silence
the world awaits
the coming
of a child
a world
of peace

In the quiet
of dawning light
I await
streaming rose and gold
threads of glory
filling the sky
with the promise
of a new day
born in the darkness
of the night

silence descends
light enters

I feel
the breath of the Divine
rising up within me

awakening my soul
with fluttering wings
and with each breath

I become an oasis
of peace


Seeds of possibility. Awaken and Shine.

shutterstock_118318609All life contains the seeds of possibility. It’s just, when we’re busy staring into the past, looking back at what went wrong, or what we can’t fix, or what we can’t do, or what others have done to us that we don’t like, our eyes are closed to the light of possibility breaking through the darkness. We see only our fears.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the nights lengthen and the warmth of the sun weakens with every passing moment as the shadows stretch across the snow drawing heaven to earth on the far horizon. In the dark winter nights we huddle around the hearth waiting for the coming of light, waiting for the dawn to break across the horizon and set us free from the darkness all around.

Advent approaches and with it we are invited to step into the sacred, to delve into the mystery and wonder of a child’s birth over 2,000 years ago. A birth that continues to resonate throughout mankind with its power to remind us that we are each and everyone of us, holy, sacred and divine.

15th Century mystic, Meister Eckhart wrote, “What good is it to me if Mary gave birth to the Son of God fourteen hundred years ago and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be Mothers of God.”

As I meditated this morning, thoughts of the sacredness of my human condition wrapped themselves around my thinking, challenging me to step out of my meditative state into wonderment and awe. What if, I truly am the divine reflection of amazing grace? What if, we are each and every one of us the embodiment of divine grace enfleshed in the sacred call to be of service to one another through the very act of our being Mothers of God? What if we truly are the expression of the African word  Ubuntu? –  I am what I am because of who we all are. I am because of you.

And what if it is my fear of letting go of who I am to become all that I am because of you that holds me back from becoming all that I am? What if I don’t trust you to be there in all your glory, worthiness, Love? What if I don’t trust you to be your own unique expression of the Divine on earth? What if I don’t trust in the divine nature of Love and its infinite capacity to support me, to stand with me, to be with me in every breath, through every moment?

What if my fear of stepping into the glory and sacredness of my human condition is all I need to overcome to embrace my holy nature, to embody my divine grace, to express my sacred soul and birth my own unique expression of Love?

What if I let go of my fear of being sacred, divine, holy and breathe into the darkness to find the light of Love shimmering on the far horizon, drawing me closer to heaven on earth?

What if, I am, we are, each and every one of us, the Divine expression of amazing grace calling us to awaken from the darkness and shine?





arebecause you are?