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Winter Solstice Meditation: Each of Us is the Midwife of God

If You Want

you want,
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the holy,
and say…

“I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart,
My time is so close.”

Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime
intimacy, the divine, the Christ
taking birth

as she grasps your hand for help, for each of us
is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yes, there, under the dome of your being does Creation
come into existence eternally, through your woman, dear pilgrim –
the sacred womb of your soul,
As God grasps our arm for help’ for each of us is
His beloved servant
never far.

If you want, the Virgin will come walking
Down the street pregnant
With light and

-St. John of the Cross from Love Poems to God translated by Daniel Ladinsky

We are approaching the Winter Solstice, that day when in the northern hemisphere, the womb of darkness has expanded as large as possible.

Will you respond to creation’s invitation to take time for rest and nurturing of dreams?

In the heart of these dark days, when birth seems so very far away, what are the ways  God is extending the divine hand toward you?


A Winter Solstice Visual Meditation







The Abbey will be on a winter sabbatical from December 19, 2009-January 3, 2010.  This is my favorite time of year and I relish these long dark days which invite contemplation and pondering of the great mysteries.  I am taking some soul care time to renew myself again, just like the earth renews herself as the sun makes her slow return.

** Remember to stop by this week’s Poetry Party to read the beautiful offerings there or to share your own poetic musings – submit a poem before tomorrow (Friday) and enter a chance to win a copy of Crossing the Threshold: New Year, New Beginnings. **

I will be back in the New Year with more reflections here and the start of my new online class *Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist* and am eager to begin that journey with the participants – the winter section is full and the spring section has just a couple of spots left, so register today if you’d like to participate before the summer months.  Registrations will continue to be accepted during this Sabbatical time, although please allow an extra day or two for replies and class confirmations.


Looking for a great last-minute holiday gift?

My friend and colleague Waverly Fitzgerald at Living in Season has created a Calendar for 2010 based on the French Republican seasons and my photos each month illustrate each theme.

Print versions are $20 each (includes shipping) or you can download a pdf for $15.

Images from the Calendar:

Heat 2 Meadowing 1 Windy 2


Blessings on the Winter Solstice, these final days of Advent, and your Christmas season!

See you in the New Year!

(Winter photos taken in Whistler, BC, Tofino, BC, and Seattle, WA – please request permission to reprint)

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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4 Responses

  1. This poem was one of the most inspiring things I’ve read today, as I sought a quiet day to contemplate the turning of the year. Thank you. Blessings for the year that begins expanding now.

  2. I’m late commenting on this and you are on your winter sabbatical, but I had to say that your beautiful images were almost overshadowed for me by the invitation and challenge in this poem. “If you want…” it’s about allowing.

  3. Such a beautiful post. I could sit and look at the images for a long time.

    Don’t you just love Love Poems From God? It is one of my favorite collections.

    Wishing you all the blessings of the Advent-Christmas seasons. Until the New Year. . . .

  4. a beautiful reflection, christine. it has been a full year of birthing here at the abbey, so i’m glad to see you are taking a much deserved sabbatical. xoxoxo