shine your light

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the holidays we celebrate at this time of year—Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas—all have light as a central theme. With the Solstice (December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere), the ancients celebrated the return of the light. From that day on, the dark winter days would gradually lengthen, bringing spring to the earth once again. Hannukkah celebrates an event in Jewish history during which the lamp oil that was only supposed to last for one day burned instead for eight days. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, the “Light of the World.” They’re all about hope, about the light dispelling the darkness.

I think the message these holidays can bring us is that, even in the darkness, we need to remember the light. Especially in times of darkness, we need to remember that there is light. For every act of hatred, there is an act of lovingkindness. For every tortured, angry, dark soul, there is another soul shining his or her light on the world. And we need to remember, in the midst of the darkness, that we can choose the light.

Blessings to all of you out there who take the time to read this blog. I like to think of you as pinpoints of light scattered across the globe—in 150 countries, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. The image comforts me and warms my heart.

So the next time you’re tempted to think, “I’m only one person. What can I do?”…remember that your light joined with the light of all the others like you (and there are others like you) can set the world ablaze with light.

In this season of celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, please, shine your light, whatever that means to you. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Just listen to your heart. You’ll know.

As I like to say, “Merry Happy!” Wherever you are, I wish you a beautiful, peaceful, light-filled season and send my light across the miles to join with yours.

~Viki/pathwriter

 

homemade christmas

Last week, my friend Peter shared his sister’s blog post about Christmases when they were growing up. In the post, his sister mentioned that his parents had made a lot of their Christmas gifts, and it reminded me of my favorite Christmas gift ever, which, to this day, has never been topped.

I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but I was young enough to be playing with Barbie dolls. That Christmas, I had asked Santa for some new dolls, “Tammy and her family”—which included Tammy, her mom and dad, and a brother and sister.

Anyway, my parents (AKA “Santa”) decided to make a dollhouse for me to go along with my new Tammy dolls. They went out and got cardboard boxes, cut off the lids, turned them on their sides and attached them to each other so that they formed a house with four rooms—two up and two down. Mom got wallpaper samples and covered the “walls” of the rooms, and she made sofas and beds out of shoeboxes, even sewing bedspreads and pillows for them. They used my Barbie dolls to measure stuff for the house, which is where the problem came in. Continue reading