Peace and Joy

Posted By on Dec 17, 2019 |

My most-used signature is Peace, Kath. I’ve used it for texts and emails for years and years. My desktop Yahoo account even has this Celtic prayer as a signature, something I found on a postcard when I lived in Ireland:

Deep peace of the running waves to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

In business, I would often use Kind regards or Warm regards or All the best. I still use All the best for the more business-like emails I send. But I find that more and more, I am using Peace, even at work.

Of course, my work is to serve a Quaker daycare. With peace being one of our primary values, this signature feels real and authentic to me, both as a person and as Oak Lane’s director. And, at this time of the year, it feels even more appropriate.

It’s almost impossible not to get excited for the holidays when you’re around little kids. Heck, even our faculty have been all amped up about our Secret Santa since before Thanksgiving. Our kiddos have started checking out the stockings hanging in the hallway while they’re waiting their turn for the bathroom. When they notice a bulge, they go running to tell the teacher that there is something in her stocking. It has been very exciting.

As I write this, our nursery school class is loudly singing Jingle Bells while eating their lunch. We had our holiday show for friends and family last week, and each class has been singing the songs that the other classes performed. It’s really fun; it has been a while since I celebrated winter holidays with little kids and there is nothing in the world like making presents for parents, learning holiday songs, and wearing bright colors for a full month.

Even in the midst of all this exciting activity, we keep silence as part of our daily practice in Morning Meeting. It seems even more important with the busy-ness of December to keep still once in a while. Yes, nap-time helps, but a group effort to ‘bring down the silence’ has a different, more intentional, quality.

Amy Grant has a great refrain in one of her holiday songs:

I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night

Whether or not you believe that a silent night is a holy night, what a beautiful way to express the need for silence, for peace — in a day, a season, or a life.

Peace and joy,