For most of the year, I’m perfectly happy with shadows and darkness. But the approach of winter solstice awakens in me an almost primal need for illumination, as evidenced by my recent household projects.
Setting up our life-sized crèche, powered by six extension cords:
Installing the Lego lighting kit in my little VW Bus.
Headlights, tail lights, signal lights, and overhead cabin lights:
Decorating my lime tree with a garland of twinkling stars:
Writing another Lanturne:
In the Manger
But light can be metaphorical as well as literal. I drove out to Dollar General yesterday to buy some non-perishable items for our Little Free Pantry. I had already shopped there three times during the week and accumulated three coupons for $5 off a $25 order, all redeemable 22 Dec 18, not to be combined with any other coupon or offer. I pushed my cart through the grocery aisles tossing in beans, vegetables, fruits, canned meats, pastas, sauce, macaroni and cheese, and jars of peanut butter. Then some holiday items: cinnamon, ginger and vanilla, poultry seasoning, Stove Top stuffing, cranberry sauce, cookie mixes, frosting and sprinkles, hot chocolate and marshmallows. I knew I had gone way over budget and briefly considered putting all the frivolous items back, but a voice inside assured me that I would be able to afford everything.
Just one register was open. The clerk was hesitant to let me divide my order into three piles and use all three coupons, but she relented when I explained the food would be donated to charity. Checking out took a while. The line grew longer and the customers behind me grew antsy. As the clerk scanned the final pile of groceries, a man in the line leaned toward me, held out his credit card and said, “This is the card you’ll want to use for that, Miss.” It was the most expensive of the three piles, well over $50. I asked if he was sure. “Positive,” he smiled. He’d overheard enough to figure out what I was doing and wanted to help. The rest of the customers nodded approvingly, their irritation forgotten. Greetings and blessings were exchanged and afterward, we parted ways, each of us touched by the glow of goodwill, carrying it like a torch into the cold, gray afternoon.
Merry Christmas! May you all be bearers of the light.
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