Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A cure for January blues

January is a strange month. It's the start of something new... and a time when many are blue.
Christmas has passed, the decorations are down, and our spirits sometimes go that direction too.

It didn't help that this work week began with news from five of my colleagues who had lost a friend or relative over the weekend. I've heard it said many times that people often hold on through the Christmas season for one last celebration with loved ones, and then succumb to illness or old age once all the feasting and festival is over. I'm not sure that's really the case with all the deaths I've been hearing about this week, but I know that it's made for a more sombre atmosphere at work. We are saddened by our friends' sorrow.

So this morning, our L'Arche Day Program decided to do something to lighten the burden a bit. We were all invited to join our core members to pray for those who had died and for those who are grieving. And it's safe to say that the little impromptu prayer service lifted all our spirits a little. I was especially touched when Mariette began her prayer: "I'd like to pray for my wonderful friend, Thomas, and my wonderful friend, Lucy, and my wonderful friend, Sandy, and my wonderful friend, Darren..." and on it went, as she looked around the circle and prayed for all present -- a simple, heartfelt naming of each of us to God.

I wonder, in this strange month of January, how much our spirits might lift if we would simply remember all the people who bless us, day in and day out, by their presence in our lives. Maybe Mariette is on to something -- the real cure for January blues.

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