Christmas greetings from Orange Marmalade

I haven’t posted any poetry for quite a long time, though it was a practice of mine to post a poem every Friday in the early years of my blogging.  But today I thought I’d pass along a Christmas poem by Madeleine L’Engle, author of the classic A Wrinkle in Time among many other titles.

Into the Darkest Hour

It was a time like this,
War & tumult of war,
a horror in the air.
Hungry yawned the abyss-
and yet there came the star
and the child most wonderfully there.

It was a time like this
of fear & lust for power,
license & greed and blight-
and yet the Prince of bliss
came into the darkest hour
in quiet & silent light.

And in a time like this
how celebrate his birth
when all things fall apart?
Ah! Wonderful it is
with no room on the earth
the stable is our heart.

Certainly 2020 has been a year of sorrow and darkness.
The poet’s grim lines of “horror in the air,” of “lust for power…greed and blight,” ring appallingly true.

Yet it was a year in which great slashes of light broke in as well
as millions of humane people around the world, from all walks of life,
responded to chaotic, perilous, strange, daunting situations
and lived generously from a well of courage and compassion.

I am thankful for the love and light I have seen, heard, felt
from people I encountered this year by unconventional means,
in surprising circumstances, from unlikely circles.
Thankful as well for the beauty, comfort, truth, joy, connection I’ve found in the pages of many a children’s book.

For each of you, in the hugely diverse spheres you find yourselves,
whether you’re celebrating winter solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas…
I truly wish for moments of peace, light, and love
as we turn the page and walk gingerly into 2021.

I hope you’ll continue to join me in the new year.
I’ve got posts ready to roll come January with wintery fiction, juicy picture books, and jazzy chapter books.
I’ve got some great titles to accompany the presidential inauguration coming up in just a few weeks,
and some fascinating books to take a world tour from your living rooms.
And what else will the Magical Book People at my library bring me?!
I know by now that it will be beyond my wildest imagination.
I look forward to sharing it with you!