The Return of Eco Shabbat

As the days get shorter, we find ourselves turning off the lights once again.

Spending one evening each week in the quiet candlelight–a way of reconnecting with each other in the midst of busy days, of taking a little rest from the noise that fills our lives, from the constant doing that prevails in our world.

A way to give thanks to the earth for supporting us, by taking a little less from her one night each week.

A moment given over to stillness, reflection, gratitude.

A long quiet in-breath that is by its very nature a meditation on where light really comes from, a lesson on how to tend the fires within.

We linger over our meals, for where else is there to be, or to do? Friends drop in to feast along with us, and our sense of community is strengthened little by little.

Sometimes we make music. Sometimes we tell stories, ones we’ve been saving and ones we never thought we knew.

Sometimes we just sit quietly in the darkness, and go to bed, already rested.


Good night!

Dark Nights, Getting Brighter

(Or, an update on last month’s small change–making room in our life to observe an eco-shabbat)


Take the day and give thanks–thanks for the work, the rush, the busy-nessĀ and the gifts they bring.

(Life made rich and, truly, possible, by all thatĀ doing.)

Say thanks, and enough.

Mark the calendar with the evenings that are ours alone. Guard them as precious.

Let darkness fall unhampered. Full upon the home.

The heart –our dinner table!– lit by candles, oil lamps.

So much to say in that warm light

(Oh, my husband, how good it is to sit here with you, in the darkness that returns us easily to each other.

To ourselves. To the music we make.

To the love we discovered those many years ago in what could be another world,

but lives, renewed and fed by these quiet evenings.)

A night of watching the candles burn low, the oil run out, the wood turning to ash.

The source of our warmth and illumination no longer removed and intangible,

but here before us–solid and finite.

When the light goes, and the stars and moon come through,

and we find ourselves beneath the same night sky as our ancestors,

(My, the many dark nights we emerged from!)

we can take our time finding the words to that old, half-forgotten song.