Everything is Not Okay

I’ve been lighting a candle as soon as I wake up in the mornings.

It’s a pine scented candle, one I spent entirely too much money on.  But, it smells like the cabin in the woods where my family retreats to every summer and it brings with it’s scent that feeling.  You know the one.  When all of your senses are on high alert- smell, taste, touch.  Everything seems cleaner and brighter, sharper and softer at the same time.

I’ve been lighting it first thing to remind myself how darkness cannot exist if, even a little light is present.  When I wake up full of doubts, when it feels like powers outside of myself are conspiring against me.  It lets me know that everything is not ok but this, right here is, and that is comforting.

I recognize that that is a strange thing to say.  That I can take comfort in the fact that everything is not ok.  There will be death somewhere today, crimes, brokenness, loneliness.  There will be disease and pain, someone will be hungry for the first or for the last time.  Someone will also be born today.  A lot of someones, in fact.  Life and death, health and illness, joy and despair dance together every day.  The candle reminds me that a little light illuminates the darkness.  And that it’s worth it.  The little warmth from a little flame, waving alone in the cold.  It’s worth it.

The little light yesterday was when my kid’s teachers quietly revealed to us how much they adore her, and how they’ve all argued about who gets to have her in class next year.  That she spent 10 minutes standing in the middle of circle time, because it was important for her friends to know that the greatest baseball player of all time was Babe Ruth, and her Papa loves baseball.  Oh, and that she was Catwoman.  And that when she’s all grown up, she’d like to work in a museum because, “old fashioned things and places are my favorite”.

A little bit of light, a candle in the dark.

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