the call
(in the form of a poem by jan l. richardson that has captured my heart):

Wise women also came.
The fire burned
in their wombs
long before they saw
the flaming star
in the sky.
They walked in shadows,
trusting the path
would open
under the light of the moon.

Wise women also came,
seeking no directions,
no permission
from any king.
They came
by their own authority,
their own desire,
their own longing.
They came in quiet,
spreading no rumors,
sparkling no fears
to lead
to innocents’ slaughter,
to their sister Rachel’s
inconsolable lamentations.

Wise women also came,
and they brought useful gifts:
water for labor’s washing
fire for warm illumination,
a blanket for swaddling.

Wise women also came,
at least three of them,
holding Mary in the labor,
crying out with her in the birth pangs,
breathing ancient blessings
into her ear.

Wise women also came,
and they went,
as wise women always do,
home a different way.


and my response:
(in my humble, jumbled, stream-of-consciousness-cause-it’s-christmas-after-all way)

to all the wise women
who stoke the fires
who don’t wait for a star
to guide the way
who walk in the shadows
knowing there
are many paths,
all Right,
all leading home

to all the wise women
who revel in the moonlight
dance in the checkout line
spill music with their words

to all the wise women
who trust their own
internal navigation system,
helping another up
when she falls,
whispering walking sticks
or knitting balms of silence
until she feels restored

to all the wise women
who ask their questions
knowing that sometimes
the only answers
are more questions
and still more questions

to all the wise women
who know
that sometimes
bandages are bindings
and other times
bindings are bandages
and that whether
bandages or bindings,
bands of cloth
can be removed and
woven into something

to all the wise women
who come into
and with
their own authority
who sing
their own songs of
and lamentations
who put on socks
of pure, unadulterated
every single morning
and dance
for insight
and laughter
who inhale
the goodness that surrounds them
and exhale
gladness and gratitude
who touch
with gentleness, tenderness, confidence

to the wise women
whose hearts
open like colorful
night after
day after
after day

even though you rarely
draw attention to yourself,
i see you
thank you
love you
celebrate you
cherish you,
you and your genuine genius and gorgeous glory.