Standing under a clear night’s sky
winter winds brush up against me
crossing the paths of the past with the present
Engulfing all in an earthly realm.
There is a sound called silence
its dear to those who know
that a greater love gazes down on us
stifling out loneliness and sorrow.
Listening to the crunching snow
and the stillness of the sky,
I strain my ears to hear the hush of comfort
and a tale told long ago.
Italy is the birthplace of this legend,
its seeds have northward blown
to help many overcome melancholy and gloom
Its sweet melody floats through my mind.
A clouded night on a frozen lake
lures the men into the dark
They fish into the vast empty depth
hunting for a long lost hope.
Snow quietly settles on the hungry village
nestled near Lake Vänern.
Quiet is the white covered land,
only drifts of a baby’s cry is heard.
” Will there, oh will there be an end to this scourge?”
cried the men into the night.
” Is there such a thing as miracle?
Or are we just pawns in fate’s hand?”
Not a fish was caught, nor a bird in flight,
discouraged they begin to row towards home.
Dense fog blankets their view
engulfing them in a cold wet mist.
Slumped over with head in hands
their boat slowly bobs deeper into winter’s ice.
Tears fall as they close their eyes and
accept their watery destiny.
As doom comfortably settles upon the lake,
a stream of light floats toward the craft.
Startled by the midsummer rays
the pagans hid to escape the vision.
The procession draws near and its angelic streams
embrace the starving souls.
Dancing lights awaken the frightened mortals and
courage opens their eyes to a glorious scene.
A beautiful personage all dressed in white
smiles upon them with celestial light
Her warmth wraps close around them,
melting their frozen limbs.
” Be not afraid,” they heard her say
” I am sent here by a prayer.”
A golden path winded homewards,
to an abundance of food.
The people were humbled and fell to their knees
giving thanks for the heavenly deed.
Her being and beauty disappeared from sight,
but they heard her whisper, “God bless you all this night.”
From this day forth she was their torch,
guiding them through the dead of winter.
The light never dimmed in this rolling landscape.
Lucia’s memory and legend fed the land.
December 13 th once the darkest day of the year
is celebrated with ceremony.
In Swedish churches, schools and businesses
all in attendance can bear witness of Lucia’s spirit.
A wreath of candles set alight
adorns the eldest maiden.
Draped in a plain white gown
she rouses the peaceful lumberers with joyous song.
” Santa Lucia thy light is glowing
through darkest winter night
Dreams float on wings so bright
light then your candles white
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.”
The young 4th-century Sicilian girl
whose martyrdom brought her sainthood
still holds sacred her calling
and comforts the poor and down-trodden.
Her memory is still strong
on cold December nights.
May her light find you
as she did so long ago the people of Lake Vänern
whose hearts she did set aglow.